Dáil Éireann - Volume 542 - 17 October, 2001
Written Answers. - Alternative Energy Projects.
Mr. Sargent Mr. Sargent
92. Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Public Enterprise the policy of her Department on net metering in wind energy. [24544/01]
Mr. Jacob Mr. Jacob
Minister of State at the Department of Public Enterprise (Mr. Jacob): My immediate target, as announced in the Green Paper on sustainable energy, is to add an additional 500 MW of renewable energy based electricity capacity to the network by 2005. This target will be achieved under support measures administered by my Department's alternative energy requirement programme – AER – and by activity in the liberalised green electricity market. Towards this end I have announced AER V which involves the largest ever call for proposals to build, own and operate renewable energy based electricity generating stations.
I am committed to ensuring that local communities have an opportunity to participate in the programme. I, therefore, decided to reduce the previous five MW cap in the small scale wind category to three MW. I also decided that devel opers in the large scale category should be excluded from participation in the small scale category. This balanced approach will ensure accelerated development of the sector while ensuring communities can participate in the programme without imposing a potentially disproportionate additional cost on electricity consumers.
Net metering on the other hand raises issues relating to a realistic price, appropriate connections and metering. In this regard the renewable energy strategy group report “Strategy for Intensifying Wind Energy Deployment” in addressing net metering concluded that “small renewable energy systems produce relatively expensive electricity such that even though they are replacing electricity otherwise bought at the retail rate, the economics are often still marginal”. I will review community participation in this programme in the light of community involvement in the AER V support measure which is out to tender at this time.
Dáil Éireann 542 Written Answers. Alternative Energy Projects.