‘Stepping up a gear to reach renewable electricity targets in Ireland’

According to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) approximately 9,289GW of electricity was generated from non-fossil fuels – excluding hydro – last year in this country.

The information came to light during Dáil proceedings last week after deputy Bernard Durkan (Fine Gael) asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Richard Bruton, what the amount of electricity being generated through non-fossil fuels – excluding hydro – but including wind, biomass, solar and others was in this country.

Minister Bruton said the latest statistics from the SEAI represented – on a normalised basis – 30.8% of gross final consumption of electricity.

In the Climate Action Plan 2019, which I recently launched, Ireland will be stepping up ambition in the renewable electricity sector with a target of 70% of our electricity to be generated from renewable sources by 2030.

He continued: “This will require significant changes to the operation and management of the electricity grid to integrate wind and solar energy at scale.”

The minister then pointed out that targets in relation to the whole area were now set and the main focus was on that.

“Indicative targets set out in the plan for non-fossil fuel technologies are at least 3.5GW of offshore renewable energy, up to 1.5GW of grid scale solar energy and up to 8.2GW of onshore wind energy by 2030,” he added.

Meanwhile, the new Climate Action Plan commits the agri-sector to delivering 16.5-18.5 Mt CO2 eq. cumulative abatement from agriculture as well as achieving 26.8 Mt CO2 eq. abatement through land use, land use change and forestry actions from 2021 to 2030.

Minister Bruton said the plan identifies the long-term challenge for the agriculture sector to meet the national policy objective set out in the 2014 National Policy Position on Climate Action and Low Carbon Development.

He pointed out that the focus would be on carbon neutrality and would in no way compromise the nation’s capacity for sustainable food production.