Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Action, Darren O’Rourke TD, has called for a cross-Government high level taskforce to be established to bring forward recommendations on how to lower the price of renewable energy here in light of the 30% increase in auction prices announced on Friday.
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Justice, Senator Lynn Boylan, added that it is government policy and inaction which has ensured Irish consumers are paying the highest prices for renewable electricity in Europe but that it does not have to be that way.
Teachta O’Rourke said:
“We were disappointed to see the results of the second auction under the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) to be published last week.
“As we expected, the final prices in the RESS 2 auction were significantly higher than they were in the first auction in 2020. We are going in the wrong direction on the cost of renewables.
“Although the price is still lower than wholesale electricity prices, our prices are much higher than other European countries, more needs to be done to lower this price to deliver savings for households.
“I am calling for a cross-Government high level taskforce to be established, to work with stakeholders in industry and state agencies, and to bring forward recommendations within six months on how prices can be lowered.
“Urgent action is needed now to deliver savings for households and to ensure Ireland is competitive to export excess wind energy to Europe.”
Senator Boylan said:
“Why, when we hear so much about our excellent wind energy resources, are our prices so high? In our latest auction, wind energy cleared at almost €98 per megawatt-hour (MWh).
“In other European countries you will see prices in the €50s and, in Spain, even in the €20s. But instead of coming down, toward the European average, the costs in Ireland have gone up in the latest RESS auction.
“It doesn’t have to be this way. The wind industry has told the Climate Action Committee that they could produce electricity from Irish wind at half the current price. All that is in the way is government policy.
“Factors driving these high costs such as delays with planning and high grid connection costs must be addressed.
“It is the choices the government has made that have given us the highest prices and it will be the choices the government makes which will decide whether Irish consumers are paying the lowest, or the highest, possible prices for renewable electricity.
“The government must establish a high level taskforce immediately so these mistakes are not repeated in the next RESS auction.”