The Minister for Energy, Pat Rabbitte TD, today announced changes to the “REFIT” scheme designed to boost the development of wind farms providing green energy to the Irish National Grid.
Announcing the scheme changes the Minister said “Renewable energy generators need policy certainty if they are to have the confidence to invest. The changes I am announcing today will encourage investment between now and 2017. This is important as we are currently 630MW behind where the National Renewable Energy Action Plan has outlined we should be in 2012. Our 2020 target will not be achieved without an increase in wind energy build from an historic average of 180MW per year to at least 250MW per year. Clearly the timely development of a healthy pipeline of potential wind projects is essential if Ireland’s 2020 renewable electricity targets are to be achieved.
Minister Rabbitte also announced that his Department was already beginning the process of designing a renewable energy scheme to come into force later this decade once Ireland’s energy market is more closely integrated with that in the rest of Europe.
During his remarks to the spring conference of the Irish Wind Energy Association in Dublin this morning Minister Rabbitte also underlined that EU law is clear that it falls to the Irish Government to decide what projects designed to export renewable energy would benefit from the terms of an Inter-Governmental Agreement. “The Directive specifies that it is for the Government on whose territory the project is sited to identify a specific project to the Commission and to specify how much of the energy produced at that project is to be regarded as counting towards meeting the targets in the other country.”
A copy of the Minister’s full address can be accessed here <http://www.dcenr.gov.ie/Corporate+Units/Press+Room/Speeches/2013/Minister+Rabbitte+Speech+on+Irish+Wind+Energy+Association.htm>