The proposed new Renewable Electricity Support Scheme will provide support to renewable electricity projects in Ireland. With a primary focus on cost effectiveness, the RESS will deliver a broader range of policy objectives, including:
- An Enabling Framework for Community Participation through the provision of pathways and supports for communities to participate in renewable energy projects
- Increasing Technology Diversity by broadening the renewable electricity technology mix (the diversity of technologies)
- Delivering an ambitious renewable electricity policy to 2030
- increasing energy security, energy sustainability and ensuring the cost effectiveness of energy policy
RESS auctions will be held at frequent intervals throughout the lifetime of the scheme. This will allow Ireland to take advantage of falling technology costs and by not auctioning all the required capacity at once; we will not be 'locking in' higher costs for consumers for the entirety of the scheme.
The Scheme will provide for a renewable electricity (RES-E) ambition of up to 70% by 2030, subject to determining the cost effective level which will be set out in the draft National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP).
RESS auctions will be designed in line with trajectory targets identified in Ireland's NECP. The first RESS-1 auction will take place within the timelines set out in the Climate Action Plan and assisting in the early delivery for our trajectory to 2030.
In terms of Communities, all projects looking for support under the new RESS will need to meet pre-qualification criteria including offering the community an opportunity to invest in and take ownership of a portion of renewable projects in their local area. A national register of community benefit payments will also be established.
An industry briefing was held on the 13 September 2019 on RESS-1 Auction Design and Implementation to give an update on the status of the project. A copy of the slides are provided below. A stakeholder briefing took place on 22 November 2019. You can find out more about the November briefing below.
The auction qualification commenced 9 March 2020. The latest auction timetable can be found here and you can visit the EirGrid website for information on how to register to participate in the RESS.
In light of unprecedented challenges being experienced by RESS Applicants resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the RESS-1 Qualification Application closing date is being extended from Thursday 2 April 2020 to Thursday 30 April 2020. A revised auction timetable will be published on the EirGrid website no later than the 30 April 2020.
The RESS 1 Terms and Conditions and the RESS Investment Scheme Supplementary Note are available below.