Published: Tue, 13 November 2018
MEP for Ireland South and leader of Fine Gael has welcomed the Parliament’s adoption of the revised Renewable Energy Directive (REDII) – which sets out the EU’s 2030 Renewable Energy Target.
Speaking in Strasbourg today (Tuesday) following the adoption of the Directive by 495 votes to 68 (with 61 abstentions), Mr. Kelly, who was the lead negotiator for the European People’s Party (EPP) Group, made the following comments:
“Today is a very proud day for me, having been part of the negotiating team that secured that target that will ensure that 32% of the energy used in the European Union by 2030 comes from renewable energy sources. This was a difficult negotiation given the opposition to an ambitious agreement in the European Council, but I am pleased that the deal we reached in the early hours of the 14th of June has been approved today.
“This Directive provides a big incentive for the Irish renewable energy sector to invest in increasing the deployment of these technologies, and the Government will be required to give financial support to ensure this happens. With our abundant natural resources, Ireland can be a leader in this area, and I call on the Government to take lead from this Directive and put ambitious structures for Renewable energy in place.
In addition to the target, Mr. Kelly noted some of the key elements of the agreement:
“Because of our agreement, citizens who wish to install their own renewable energy systems and generate their own energy are now given the right to do so, and will be guaranteed some form of support – either in an exemption from all charges, or another type of subsidy. This brings significant opportunities to would-be Irish self-consumers.
“The administrative side of permit-granting will also be streamlined and simplified for applicants. Those with a project will now only have to deal with a single administrative contact point who will be required to guide the applicant through the whole process, which will make it extremely simple to get a project connected to the grid.
“Finally, the Directive enshrines the right of all Irish citizens to participate in a ‘Renewable Energy Community’, which is an entity made up of local shareholders who collectively own and control a local renewable energy system. The Government will now be required to develop an enabling framework for both the increase of small-scale self-generation, and the development of the community model, which will better enable the local ownership of wind-farms, solar plants, etc.
“Ireland must do more on climate action, and through Renewable Energy, we have an opportunity to be a real leader within the EU. We need to match the success we have had in the electricity sector with real actions to decarbonise heating and transport, and also to allow citizens to really take advantages of the opportunities we have secured for them in the new Renewable Energy Directive”, he concluded.