Noel Dempsey T.D., the Minister for Communications, Marine & Natural Resources has announced that a significant milestone on the road to building a sustainable energy future for Ireland has been reached with over 1,000MW of renewable electricity-generating capacity now connected to the Grid.
This consists of 740MW of wind capacity, 236MW of hydro capacity and over 35MW of biomass capacity.
"We have more than doubled the renewable generating capacity in the past two years and we are now well on target towards having 15% of the electricity we consume coming from renewable sources by 2010 - and I am confident and more determined than ever that we can reach the 30% renewable target contained in the Government's Green Paper on Energy" - commented the Minister on learning of the news.
"We have some of the richest potential renewable energy resources in Europe - wind, ocean and bio-energy - and, if we are to meet our Kyoto obligations and reduce our dependence on fuel imports, we must maximise the contribution made by these resources. Today's good news is a direct result of this Government's commitment to developing these green energy resources. Only late last year, a further 55 new renewable-powered electricity generating plants were approved for support under the new REFIT programme by Government" - he continued.
"We are also promoting the use of renewable technologies at an individual level. We have committed a further €20 million over the next three years to expanding the Greener Homes scheme - so popular among householders, that well over 10,000 have applied to date - and we will soon be rolling out a programme to grant-aid solar and heat pump technologies in clubs and community halls around the country. It is these concrete actions by the Government - which, combined with the willingness of people to make changes at an individual level - that I believe will mean we can make Ireland the Renewable Energy Island" - concluded Minister Dempsey.