Here are some of the key messages delivered by speakers at an excellent Irish Wind Farmers Association conference last week:
1. We need to have a firm access policy that allows repowering projects to retain their firm access.
This is a particular blocker to repowering projects, which are an easy win on getting to our 2030 targets.
2. Eirgrids Tomorrow Energy Scenarios should be more ambitious.
The consultation looks at four scenarios – 100% RES-E by 2040, 2045, 2050. However, to comply with the Climate Action Plan (which is legislation), we need to hit 100% RES-E by 2030. Eirgrid need to be more ambitious with their Tomorrow’s Energy Scenarios. Consultation responses are open until 13th December 2023 and everyone is encouraged to make a submission.
3. Eirgrids recent TUOS charge increase has breached the EU’s limits on TUOS charges for generators and renewable energy projects should challenge this.
All generator units 5MW pay TOUS Charges. This has jumped €63M 2011 to €123 m in 2023 including 20% in 2023/2024. EU policy limits generator TUOS charges - Eirgrid appear to have breached this and should be challenged.
4. Ireland’s proposed implementation of the price cap discriminates against wind & solar.
5. Reminder about the requirement on all generators to submit their market cap return to the CRU by 31st December 2023, with surplus revenue to be paid by 31 January 2024.
6. The CRU are looking at a more frequent perhaps continuous grid application progress in order to comply with the new EU renewables fast-tracking requirements.
7. Government will publish the long-awaited storage policy early in 2024
Paul O’Neill, principal officer in DECC, outlined some of the upcoming planning policy changes, including the publication of our first storage policy ideally in the new year, following the consultation closure recently.
8. The New Planning & Development Bill 2023 will (hopefully) reduce spurious judicial review court cases by requiring judicial review applicants to be:
Materially affected by the matter (other than financial affected)
Have more than 10 members or be a company that has existed for more than a year.
More importantly it will empower the Court to direct an Bord Pleanála now An Commission Pleanála to amend a decision rather than just quashing the decision.
The Bill has just been published this week but it will not be enacted until 2024.
9. Government to announce new fixed (non -competition) Feed-in-premium tariff for small scale (1-6MW) Renewables by March 2024
As part of the governments small scale renewable energy support scheme, the Department of the Environment Climate and Communications is finalising the scheme design and is expected to announce the Feed-in-Premium by March 2024. Full T&C are to follow by mid 2024.