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Senator Lynn Boylan calls for greater community energy ambition

5 February, 2021 - by Lynn Boylan

Senator Lynn Boylan has welcomed the government’s decision to make it harder for corporations to game the community energy system. 

The minister announced community projects would need to be 100% community-owned to qualify for support, instead of 51%.

Senator Boylan said:

“Wherever governments have set up schemes for community energy, corporations have tried to game the system and get more benefits for themselves. The minister’s decision makes that harder.

“But it’s important to put the move in context. Before, 99.5% of government support for renewables under RESS went to corporate developers. This decision only brings that down to 99%.

“A lack of government ambition means we only get token amounts of community energy and are missing a massive opportunity to share the benefits of the transition widely.

“It’s time for the government to get serious about community energy and ringfence significant amounts of RESS capacity auctions for community groups.

“Achieving that ramp up will entail a massive increase in supports offered to communities interested in developing renewable installations.

“Ireland has bountiful renewable resources. These could be harvested to benefit of our people. But government supports have guaranteed that only a select few corporations and shareholders enjoy the spoils.

“Community energy has the potential to transform and democratise the ownership of our energy system. I’m calling on the minister to seize that opportunity."

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