“Ref: MS-2017 11 – please quote this reference on all correspondence
I refer to your email received 21 April 2017 in relation to the new RESS scheme and financial support.
My Department is currently developing a proposed new Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) which will be designed to assist Ireland in meeting its renewable energy contributions out to 2030.
The new scheme design requires detailed economic analysis on the viability and cost effectiveness of supporting several renewable technologies at various scales, including onshore and offshore wind, Solar PV (both ground mounted and rooftop), Bio-Energy, Ocean (Wave and Tidal) etc. Once this analysis is complete, my Department will publish a public consultation on the design of the new support scheme. There will be many decisions to be made on this support scheme with regard to scale, technologies, cost, eligibility and – in particular – how communities will have a greater involvement than in previous schemes.
Following the outcome of this public consultation, and before any new scheme is introduced, it will need to secure Government approval and state aid clearance from the European Commission. Subject to this, it is expected that the new scheme will become operational in the first half of 2018.
Details of the next public consultation will be advertised on my Department’s website http://www.dccae.gov.ie and we would welcome your response to this consultation.
I trust this information is of some assistance.
Denis Naughten, T.D.
Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment“
For a consultation of this importance and magnitude, I would expect the Minister to post full page notices in the national dailies, radio and TV, and a consultation period of at least six months. The usual notice hidden in the layers of the departmental website with two weeks to go does not cut the mustard.