Home-owners and businesses are set to face a significant increase in electricity costs to help pay for new subsidies for renewable energy under an overhaul planned by Minister Denis Naughten.
The changes to the renewable electricity support scheme (RESS), which will now go out for public consultation, are designed to help Ireland meet demanding CO2 emissions targets by 2030.
However, the price rises caused by increases in the Public Service Obligation (PSO) levy which is paid by all electricity consumers are expected to fall away as the cost of producing green energy falls.
Currently, the money collected from the PSO levy is used to subsidise renewable energy generation and peat-burning power plants operated by Bord na Móna. It is also used to secure the Irish electricity supply.
Details of the RESS were published on Monday by Minister for Climate Action and the Environment Denis Naughten. The RESS endorses the most successful models used elsewhere, notably in Denmark, Canada and Scotland, which also promote community participation in renewable electricity projects.
“Communities and citizens will actively participate in and benefit from renewable projects in their local area,” Mr Naughten said.
Major developers will have to facilitate community involvement in any of their projects approved for RESS support. In Denmark developers have to offer a 20 per cent community share ownership for wind projects with turbines larger than 25m.
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