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Ireland’s renewable electricity scheme gets EU approval

Ireland’s Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) has passed EU state aid rules, allowing it to take provide funding for future renewable projects.

The Irish government designed the RESS scheme to help the country transition towards renewable energy. Its targets include making 70% of its energy from clean sources by 2030, while contributing to the EU renewable energy target.

Set to run until 2025, the scheme will have an estimated total budget of between $8.3bn (€7.2bn) and $14.4bn (€12.5bn).

Minister for communications, climate action and environment Eamon Ryan said: “I am delighted to welcome this announcement today from the EU Commission. It endorses the government’s commitment to the Green Deal and launches a renewable energy revolution in Ireland.

“The RESS will provide us with a platform for rapid deployment of onshore and offshore wind and solar projects at scale and at least cost, replacing fossil fuels on our energy grid. It also offers communities the opportunity to produce their own power and share in the ownership of Ireland’s energy revolution.”

Ireland has committed to an average of 7% annual reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions from 2021 to 2030. It also aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 using the RESS measure to achieve this.

The aid package will supply all eligible technologies that produce clean energy from renewable sources through auctions. Successful applicants will receive support for 15 years, in the form of a premium on top of the market price.

Ryan added: “To date, onshore wind energy has been the most cost-effective technology available to Ireland, however, to drive on and meet our renewable energy ambitions, other technologies such as solar and offshore wind will play a critical role in diversifying our renewable generation portfolio for the period out to 2030.”

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