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RWE REnewables Ireland Limited

11. Renewable Energy

RWE commend Kilkenny County Council on their strategic aim:

“To generate 70% of electricity demand for the County through renewables  by  2030  by  promoting and facilitating all forms of renewable energies and energy efficiency improvements in a sustainable manner as a response to climate change.”

RWE support Kilkenny County Council taking ownership of this target and setting specific goals for the county in the absence of regional guidance. This demonstrates a level of ambition required by local authorities if we are to meet our national target of 70% electricity generation from renewable energy sources by 2030. If this commitment was met by all counties, we would meet our overall national target of 70% electricity generation from renewable energy.

RWE commend Kilkenny County Council on the ambitious target, “this Renewable Energy Strategy aims to enable Kilkenny to generate a minimum of 100% of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2030.” RWE would like clarification around the proposed target set out as there seems to be two targets of 70% and 100% of electricity demand to be met by renewable generation by 2030. RWE wonders if the target of 100% is out to 2050.

RWE commend Kilkenny County Council on the inclusion of an updated and comprehensive Renewable Energy Strategy (RES) and support the policy objectives 11A - 11C.

The CAP has specifically targeted a significant increase in onshore wind, doubling our current capacity to 8.2GW of total onshore wind by 2030. Onshore wind currently represents the cheapest form of electricity generation in Ireland and drives down the cost of electricity for consumers. As we enter a significant decade for onshore wind development in Ireland it is important that the Renewable Energy Strategy (RES) for Kilkenny is ambitious and achievable in its targets.

RWE commend Kilkenny County Council on assessing their future renewable energy needs. The figures presented by the 3EA state that Kilkenny could contribute an additional 253MW or renewable energy to meet the target of 100% renewable electricity generation to meet the needs of the county by 2030. 

RWE note that the RES expects “that the renewable energy target will be met by a mix of renewable energies, in which solar will  play  a  significant  role, thus  removing  dependence  on  wind  and  reducing  the number of wind turbines required significantly.”

RWE appreciate the pursuance of a mix of renewable energy source and indeed recognise the importance of an energy mix to provide a secure supply of renewable energy. Taking account of the targets laid out in the CAP, a national target of 0.4 GW of solar and 4.2 GW of onshore wind is needed. Onshore wind is currently the primary source of renewable energy in Co. Kilkenny and the rest of the country and RWE would ask Kilkenny County Council to designate a sufficient area of the county for potential wind energy development as is appropriate to meet these targets.

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