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6th August 2020 | Blog post

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Eamon Ryan TD on community energy

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As the Minister for Climate Action, I was delighted this week to welcome the provisional results of the first auction under the new Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS). RESS is designed to provide financial support to renewable electricity projects in Ireland, and a platform for rapid deployment of onshore wind and solar projects at scale and at least cost, replacing fossil fuels on our energy grid.

The Programme for Government, “Our Shared Future”, recognises the importance of community involvement in energy projects, and the first RESS auction included mandatory community benefit funds for all projects and a dedicated community projects category. Community owned energy projects will play a critical role in diversifying our renewable generation portfolio and in this auction we have exceeded our target, with seven communities being supported to produce their own power and share in the ownership of Ireland’s energy revolution. I expect that our next auction will have an even higher share of community-based renewables.

The results are very competitive and represent a significant saving on previous support schemes. The volumes procured set us on the right trajectory to achieve the ambitious 70% renewable electricity target by 2030 set out in the Programme for Government and the Climate Action Plan. This will be crucial to Ireland’s contribution towards an EU wide renewable energy target of 32% by 2030 and to the 7% per annum reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions from 2021 to 2030.

Meeting these targets will support an investment in Ireland of over 1.4Bn euro and support the recovery by creating roughly 10,500 construction jobs and 1,100 additional permanent jobs. The Government allocated funding as part of the July Stimulus for green apprenticeships, which will be needed to support these investments and provide a path for transition from brown to green for many Irish communities, particularly in the Midlands.

Eamon Ryan signature

Eamon Ryan
Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment