*Billy Kelleher (FF) MEP.

INTERNATIONAL investors must be made aware that Ireland is open for business when it comes to renewable technologies.

Billy Kelleher MEP (FF) has called on the Irish Government to transpose the EU Renewable Energy Directive as quickly as possible to assure potential investors of the country’s potential for renewable technologies.

He was commenting as the Climate Change Advisory Council reiterated its significant concerns about Ireland’s capacity to meet its climate targets. “We know that Ireland is generally slow at making the changes needed for the country to grasp the opportunity to become a renewable energy superpower. The CCAC review is clear in what it says. We aren’t moving forward as fast as we had hoped, and as fast as we need to be in order to meet either our own national targets or our obligations under EU law”.

Government representatives have flagged they do not have sufficient time to make amendments to the revised National Energy and Climate Plan. “Last year, as an MEP, I supported the Renewable Energy Directive as a means of speeding up the regulatory process for green technologies. It entered into force last November and Member States have up to 18 months to transpose this directive into national legislation. Ireland is currently updating its own National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), but the Government has confirmed that they do not have the necessary time to incorporate RED III into the new revised NECP as yet more modelling and analysis of the RED III targets are required. This is a problem, and one that the Government needs to urgently address”.

Kelleher explained, “RED III provides for the creation of Renewable Accelerated Areas (RAAs) by the Irish Government. These areas are places identified as localities best suited to hosting renewable energy projects. The permitting processes should be faster and quicker, and they should enable roll out of renewable energy projects in a timelier manner. The transposition of RED III into Irish law cannot come fast enough. We don’t need a long drawn out process otherwise we risk falling even further behind on our targets.

“Renewable energy companies need to know that Ireland is open for investment, and that requires the speediest possible transposition. Let’s be honest. Ireland is competing with other Member States for investment into renewables. We need to keep this in mind when it comes to putting in place the regulatory framework. I am calling on Minister Ryan and his departmental officials to move quickly on this critical piece of work. A General Election is due before March 2024. This legislation needs to be on the statute books before that date in my opinion,” the Cork man concluded.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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