Ireland Unveils Renewables Auction Scheme

Ireland has revealed details of the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) auction which has received government approval as the country looks to move to 70% renewable electricity by 2030.

RESS is an auction-based scheme which invites renewable electricity projects, including offshore wind, to bid for capacity and receive a guaranteed price for the electricity they generate.

The first auction is set to open early next year, subject to State Aid approval and will deliver up to a 3,000GWh increase in renewable electricity generation by the end of 2022.

The frequency of future RESS auctions is dependent on the renewable electricity project supply pipeline. It is envisaged that a minimum of four auctions will occur between 2020 and 2027 to deliver on the 2030 targets.

This is expected to provide pathways for renewable developers including offshore wind projects as it sets out the indicative timelines and volumes for auctions over the coming decade and provides clarity for developers in relation to when they need to have their projects ‘auction ready’. It is also expected to allow Ireland to take advantage of new technologies as they emerge.

As renewable technologies such as offshore wind mature and costs decrease, Ireland will be able to take advantage of falling costs of technology throughout the next decade, which in turn will lead to greater diversification of its renewable portfolio, the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment said.

The scheme is still subject to EU state aid approval.

“Today, I am announcing the details of the first auction under the Scheme,” Ireland’s Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton, said.

”Installed wind capacity has grown by 50% since 2015. This auction could see capacity grow further by 30% in the next three years, with solar and community participation. This is the equivalent of powering up to 640,000 homes every day and will have a significant impact on delivering what we set out in the Climate Action Plan.”

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