Ireland Extends Clean-Power Subsidy So Projects Can Be Completed

Ireland extended an incentive program for clean energy projects by two years to give developers more time to complete their developments.

Projects operating before the end of 2017 will be eligible for the second Renewable Energy Feed-in-Tariff program, compared with 2015 previously, according to Pat Rabbitte, the minister for communications, energy and natural resources.

The program began last year to spur the creation of 4,000 megawatts of renewable electricity capacity on the Irish grid. It backs small and large-scale onshore wind farms, biomass power stations and hydropower plants of less than 5 megawatts as Ireland seeks to get as much as 40 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2020 from about 20 percent now.

Ireland won’t meet its clean power target without boosting the wind energy built to at least 250 megawatts a year from 180 megawatts now, Rabbitte told a conference in Dublin today.

Failure to meet the 40 percent goal will lead to European Union charges of as much as 150 million euros ($192 million) a year for each percentage point shortfall and another 250 million euros to buy emissions permits to fill the gap, Rabbitte said, citing estimates from the nation’s Sustainable Energy Authority.

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