The Irish Government has launched a Climate Action Plan that includes a commitment to 70% renewable energy by 2030 and around 3.5 GW of offshore wind
The Irish Government has launched a wide-ranging Climate Action Plan to tackle climate breakdown that includes a commitment to 70% renewable energy by 2030 and around 3.5 GW of offshore wind.
The new plan, launched on 17 June and led by Minister Richard Bruton, includes more than 180 actions, together with hundreds of ‘sub-actions’ that need to be taken “at a time when the warning signs are growing, and the time for taking action is rapidly reducing.”
The plan sets a target of 12 GW of renewable energy capacity, with peat and coal plants closing.
The Irish Government said that, by 2030, it will deliver an early and complete phase-out of coal and peat-fired electricity generation, increase electricity generated from renewable sources to 70%, indicatively comprised of at least 3.5 GW of offshore renewable energy, 1.5 GW of grid-scale solar energy and up to 8.0 GW of increased onshore wind capacity.
The exact level of offshore wind, onshore wind, solar and other renewable technology will be determined by a new system of competitive auctions where the lowest cost technology will be determined.
The target at least 3.5 GW of offshore renewable energy will consist “mainly of offshore wind.”
Enhanced interconnection is planned, including the Celtic Interconnector to France and further interconnection to the UK.
The plan also included a commitment to strengthen the policy framework to incentivise electricity storage and interconnection and said increased levels of storage and interconnection will be critical to absorbing high levels of renewable generation.
“We will also develop an offshore electricity grid, in tandem with new interconnection. This will allow Ireland to balance its significant renewables potential with security of electricity supply and develop long-term ambitions to export its offshore renewable resources,” the plan said, “and examine the increased use of cross border joint co-operation mechanisms for funding renewables, particularly offshore wind, to reduce the cost impacts on Irish consumers and businesses, including for hybrid assets as part of the North Seas Energy Cooperation Initiative.”
The plan also highlighted a planning and consenting regime and a grid connection framework for offshore wind that aims to deliver projects.
Minister Bruton said, “We have a short window of opportunity to act. We must act now and leave a better, healthier, more sustainable Ireland for future generations. This plan provides our way forward. We are currently 85% dependent on fossil fuels. This plan sets out radical reforms, which will cut our reliance on carbon.”
He said the plan puts Ireland on course to meet a 2030 target for carbon emissions, which is consistent with achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The plan commits to evaluating in detail the changes required to adopt a more ambitious commitment of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and a new Climate Action Act in which the Irish Government will establish a 2050 target in law.