The Green Party today called on the Government to become climate action leaders, and set a target of 75% renewable electricity by 2030. The call came as part of the Greens’ submission to the consultation on the new renewable energy support scheme.
Speaking about the submission, Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan TD said: “Our key recommendation to the consultation on the new renewable energy support scheme is for the Government to set a target for 75% of all electricity to come from renewable power supplies by 2030.
“This is a radical goal but is perfectly achievable and would bring massive economic as well as environmental benefits for the whole of our country. We want a new solar energy revolution to start immediately with the introduction of new rules to allow domestic customers, businesses and farmers to export solar power from panels on their roof, at a price close to the current retail price for electricity.
“It is a disgrace that the Government has excluded such a possibility from their consultation document and that they are only aiming to have the extend the existing 40% renewable electricity target on to the end of the next decade. How can they be taking climate change seriously when they are showing no ambition to increase our share of renewable power?
“Our second key proposal is to support a switch to co-operative ownership in the generation and supply of new renewable power supplies. We have recently introduced a bill which will mandate all new generation projects to have 30% community ownership but we want the Government to go further and give priority to new co-operative models within the new support arrangements.
“As well as a solar revolution we believe there is a historic opportunity to develop new biomass combined heat and power plants and new offshore wind farms which give us real scale and balancing capability in running our power system.
“The cost of these renewable technologies has come down dramatically in recent years. If we design our markets around the balancing of variable power supplies with variable demand for electricity in the heat and transport sectors, we can deliver this new power at lower costs than the fossil fuel alternatives.
“It is long past time for the Government to heed the call of the Citizens’ Assembly for leadership on Climate Change. They should start by almost doubling their level of ambition in the area of renewable energy and return power to the people in a bold new way.”