Ref No: 46755/14

To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources his Departments policy regarding a renewable energy mix for Ireland; the targets that are in place for each type of renewable energy to achieve a sustainable renewable energy mix; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Anthony Lawlor.

* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 9th December, 2014.     Ref No: 46755/14


Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Alex White)
I propose to take Questions Nos 453 and 454 together.
The overarching objective of the Government’s energy policy is to ensure secure and sustainable supplies of competitively priced energy to all consumers. While it is acknowledged that fossil fuels will remain part of the energy mix for some time to come, progress is being made towards increasing the share of renewable energy in our energy mix. The 2009 EU Renewable Energy Directive set Ireland a legally binding target of meeting 16% of our energy requirements from renewable sources by 2020, to be achieved through 40% renewables in electricity, 12% in heat and 10% in transport.
There are significant policies in place to incentivise the increased use of renewable energy. The REFIT schemes underpin the development of a range of renewable electricity technologies, including hydro, biomass combustion, biomass combined heat and power, landfill gas and onshore wind. To date, wind energy has been the most cost effective renewable technology in the Irish electricity market, contributing most towards the achievement of the 2020 target.
Part L of the Building Regulations supports the uptake of renewable heat and the recently published Draft Bioenergy Plan recommends the introduction from 2016 of a Renewable Heat Incentive for larger heat users to change to heating solutions that produce heat from renewable sources. The Biofuels Obligation Scheme and grant support for the purchase of electric vehicles underpin the deployment of renewable energy in the transport sector.
In 2013, 7.8% of Ireland’s overall energy requirement was met by renewable energy. This equated to 20.9% of electricity demand, 5.7% of heat demand and 2.8% of transport being met from renewable sources.