The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a scheme to support electricity production in Ireland from renewable sources.
Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President in charge of competition policy, said: “This Renewable Electricity Support Scheme will contribute to Ireland’s transition to a low carbon and environmentally sustainable economy.”
Ireland will introduce a new aid measure, the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) to contribute to the EU renewable energy target and help Ireland reach 70 per cent renewables in its electricity mix by 2030.
The RESS has a budget of €7.2-12.5 billion, and it will run until 2025. Aid for renewably generated electricity production under RESS will be granted through auctions. There will be preferred treatment for a small quantity of solar and offshore wind because of the longer-term potential of these technologies for the country. However, all renewable technologies will be able to compete in the auctions.
Auction winners will receive a premium on top of the market price for 15 years. Projects developed by renewable energy communities will benefit from grants and loans to support development of their projects, and they will participate in a special category in the auctions to ensure some are successful.
The EU Commission has examined the Irish RESS and concluded that it is in line with EU State aid rules, as it promotes electricity generation from renewable sources, in line with the European Green Deal, without unduly distorting competition.