“Ludicrous” red tape is harming Ireland’s drive to generate more renewable energy, Regina Doherty has said.
In its Climate Action Plan, the Government committed itself to producing 80% of its energy from renewables by 2030 but there is widespread scepticism within the industry that the target can be met.
Senator Doherty believes things need to be made simpler and quicker for companies that provide renewable energy.
“Anybody that wants to build a solar farm or a wind farm can only access the grid for one period, once a year,” she said.
“Eirgrid, who runs our grid, opens the access window in September and closes it in October.
“So, if you don’t make that window in those few weeks to be able to apply for access to the grid, then you have to wait another 12 months to apply again.
“I think that’s ludicrous, I think we should be able to apply four, five, 10 times a year. We should have a window that opens every month.”
Environment Minister Eamon Ryan is currently attending the COP28 climate summit in Dubai but Senator Doherty feels Ireland is in no position to preach about its record on the international stage.
“In North County Dublin, there’s a planning application that has been approved for a 60 megawatt farm,” she said.
“They did make the window of applying before October but had to wait for up to 12 months for permission to be granted to access the grid.
“The world is on fire and people need the correct energy but we’re stopping people who want to provide green energy sources in Ireland from doing so in a timely and efficient manner.”
In 2022, 38.6% of the energy Ireland used came from renewable sources.
Main image: Senator Regina Doherty. Picture by: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie