Sunday 25 September 2016

'Up to €360m' in fines loom if we miss energy targets

Published 26/05/2016 | 02:30

EU has set renewable energy targets to be hit by 2020
EU has set renewable energy targets to be hit by 2020

If Ireland misses its EU renewable energy targets for 2020, taxpayers will end up paying out between €195m and €360m in fines, the chief executive of an Irish solar company has said.

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According to Solar 21 bossMichael Bradley, Ireland looks set to miss its targets by around three percentage points.

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland estimates the country will be fined between €65m and €120m per percentage point. To put it in context, Solar 21 predicts EU energy fines could cost Ireland 21 times more than potential water fines.

"Ireland has just over four years to achieve the target of 16pc of national energy consumption to derive from renewable sources.

"Based on current performance and the fact that 60pc of wind projects are tied up in the High Court on planning objections, it would seem unlikely that Ireland will hit the target," Mr Bradley said. At a meeting in Galway this week tech giant Apple committed to using renewable energy at its proposed new €850m data centre in Athenry.

The new data centre is said to use 300MW of power which is the equivalent of 8pc of national capacity.

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