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Hydro and wind power make up most of Ireland’s RES-E production. Despite an increase in the RES-E share over the past decade, there is still some way to go before the target is reached. Important changes have occurred at a policy level. Ireland has selected the renewable energy feed-in tariff (REFIT) as its main instrument. From 2006 onwards, this new scheme is expected to provide some investor certainty, due to a 15-year FIT guarantee. No real voluntary market for renewable electricity exists.



Between 1995 and 2003, a tender scheme (the Alternative Energy Requirement – AER) was used to support RES-E. Since early 2006, the REFIT has become the main tool for promoting RES-E. €119 million will be used over 15 years from 2006 to support 55 new renewable electricity plants with a combined capacity of 600 MW. FITs are guaranteed for up to 15 years, but may not extend beyond 2024. During its first year, 98 per cent of all the REFIT support has been allocated to wind farms.

Table I.13: Key RES-E Support Schemes in Ireland

Technology Tariff Duration 2006
fixed fixed
years €/MWh
Wind > 5 MW plants 15 years 57
Wind < 5 MW plants 59
Biomass (landfill gas) 70
Other biomass 72
Hydro 72




The RES-E target for Ireland, set by the EU Directive, to be met by 2010, is 13.2 per cent of gross electricity consumption. The country itself would like to reach an RES-E share of 15 per cent by that time. The European Energy Green Paper, published in October 2006, sets targets over longer periods. In relation to Ireland, it calls for 30 per cent RES-E by 2020. Ireland is making some modest progress in relation to its RES-E target, with 3.6 per cent in 1997 and 5.23 per cent in 2004.

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