Under EU Directive 2009/28/EC, Ireland has been set a legally binding target for the share of renewable energy in consumption by 2020. Our legally binding target is 16% overall, and in our National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) we have set out how we intend to achieve the 16% by 2020. At the end of 2010, our consumption of electricity from renewable sources stood at 14.8% and we need to increase this to 40% by 2020, if we are to meet our legal obligations. This is where REFIT 2 comes in.
REFIT 2 sets out to encourage the development of new renewable generation through REFIT for onshore wind, hydro and biomass landfill gas. REFIT 2 will introduce a support scheme to ensure that onshore wind, hydro and biomass landfill gas technologies can contribute to 2020 targets.
REFIT 2 is designed to incentivise the addition of 4,000MW of new renewable electricity capacity to the Irish grid. Plants must be new plants in all cases, neither built nor under construction on 1/1/2010. Projects must be operational by end 2015. The support for any particular project cannot exceed 15 years and may not extend beyond 31/12/2030.
Reference prices in REFIT 2 are broadly in line with the existing REFIT 1 support scheme, however there are some significant changes in the terms and conditions, particularly in relation to balancing payments.
Information on all the REFIT programmes and, in particular, REFIT 2 terms and conditions can be found on the Dept. of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources website.