Grant Thornton welcomes the publication of the Government’s White Paper, Ireland’s Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Future.
The Energy White paper, launched by Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White, sets out the vision for a low carbon energy future and recognises wind energy as the most cost-effective renewable option for Ireland.
As a firm whom acts for several wind farm developers, it is most pleasing to note that the paper shows that wind farms will continue to play a leading role among Irish renewables in bringing down energy costs, cutting emissions, attracting billions in low carbon investment into Ireland and securing our energy security, moving us away from our 85% dependency on foreign energy imports in favour of Irish home-grown power.
Although the news is positive, challenges still remain. Non-renewable sources currently account for over 85% of energy consumption in Ireland. This dependence on imported fossil fuels (at a cost to the state of approximately €5.7 billion per year) is recognised as unsustainable and needs decrease, ideally to between 19% and 30%, in order for the objectives of this paper to be achieved.
This shift to a lower carbon future will require wholesale changes to the energy sector in Ireland with smart energy services, energy efficiency and empowered energy consumers all highlighted as playing a welcoming role.
The Energy White paper also highlights the need for certainty in terms of policy, regulation and infrastructure – key to continued growth and investment in the renewable electricity sector in particular.