Tuesday 2 October 2007

Reconvening of the Renewable Energy Development Group

Mr Eamon Ryan TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has announced that he is reconvening the Renewable Energy Development Group.

This Group was originally established in May 2004, but has not met since early 2006.

Speaking at the annual conference of the Irish Wind Energy Association, Minister Ryan said - "Reconvening this group - under the aegis of my Department - will provide a cross-Government, pan-agency and industry response to renewable energy in Ireland.

"This new reconstituted Group will be central to reaching the target of 33% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020. This is an ambitious target and we need all sides pulling together - especially, if Ireland is to be the centre of the 'green energy boom' I believe it can be.

"The Group will include representatives from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Sustainable Energy Ireland, CER, ESB, the ESRI, universities and industry representatives. I will be asking the Group to provide an action-based report within 6 months of its first meeting."

The Minister also announced that state aid approval for the Renewable Energy Feed In Tariff Scheme (REFIT) has been received from the European Commission. "I welcome the eventual approval of state aid for this important Scheme. Delays in this area have been unacceptable. On the one hand, the European Union is setting impressive targets for renewable energy and, on the other hand, holding back national Governments working to achieve these targets.

"We cannot continue with these types of delays and I will be working with the Commission and my European colleagues to ensure that any future support can get much quicker clearance."

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