White Paper: Delivering a Sustainable Energy Future for Ireland

Source: IEA/IRENA Renewables Policies Database
Last updated: 2 April 2012
Buliding on the energy "Green Paper" and related consultation process conducted during 2006, the Irish government released an energy "White Paper" in March 2007. This paper sets out a national energy policy framework for the years 2007 to 2020. The strategic goals of the paper relate to security of supply, sustainability of energy and competitiveness of energy supply.

In relation to security of supply, the governments overriding policy is to ensure that energy is consistently available at competitive prices with minimal risk of supply disruption. Among others, the underpinning principles of this goal include enhancing the diversity of fuels used for power generation and creating a stable, attractive environment for hydrocarbon exploration and production. Relevant actions in relation to these goals include:
- encouraging biomass in power generation by supporting biomass technology transfer, investing in specific biomass research and development and tackling supply side issues;
- delivering on the targets contained in the Bioenergy Action Plan;
- achieving 15% of electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2010 through existing and new projects under the REFIT Scheme; and
- achieving 33% of electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2020 through support for research, development, commercialisation and technology transfer and planning for offshire wind, ocean technology and biomass.

Regarding sustainability of energy supply and use, the underpinning goals include:
- addressing climate change by reducing energy-related greenhouse gas emissions;
- accelerating the growth of renewable energy sources;
- promoting the sustainable use of energy in transport;
- delivering an integrated approach to the sustainable development and use of bioenergy resources;
- maximising energy efficiency and energy savings across the economy; and
- accelerating energy research development and innovation programmes in support of sustainable energy goals.

Actions for meeting these goals include:
- achieving at least 400MW from combined heat and power by 2010;
- setting an initial ambition of at least 500MW of installed ocean energy capacity by 2020;
- supporting further long-term developments of offshore wind projects;
- optimising deployment of solar energy in electricity and heating by 2020;
- achieving a minimum target of 5% market penetration of renewables in the heat market by 2010 and a further target of 12% renewable heat market penetration by 2020;
- achieving the EU target of 5.75% biofuels market penetration by 2010;
- moving to a biofuels obligation on fuel suppliers by 2009;
- setting a biofuels penetration target of at least 10% for 2020;
- using 100% pure plant oil in captive fleets maintained by local authorities and public bodies;
- mandating that Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann move all their fleet to a 5% biofuel blend and plan to achieve a 30% biofuel blend in all new buses;
- accelerating progress in developing a reliable supply chain in the wood energy sector for the private as well as the national forest estate;
- working to develop an "all-island" approach to bioenergy during the period 2007 to 2010; and
- supporting second generation biofuels.

The government intends to carry out interim reviews of the energy policy framework every two years, with a fundamental review to be carried out every five years.

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