Individuals and communities invited to submit their views
The Programme for Government recognises the importance of community involvement in energy projects. The first Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) auction held last year included a provision that mandatory Community Benefit Funds would be established by all successful projects. These Funds are set at €2/MWh for all generation projects and are to be used for the wider environmental, social and cultural well-being of the local community. For the first auction alone this equates to nearly €4 million per annum for Community Benefit Funds.
A set of Good Practice Principles is being published so that all projects and citizens know what is expected from these Community Benefit Funds and to ensure that the requirement to provide a fund is applied consistently.
The aim of this consultation is to gather stakeholder feedback on the proposed Good Practice Principles, which may help to inform the final document.
As part of the public consultation process, citizens are invited to register to participate in one of our webinars being held to gather feedback on the draft handbook. The webinars will be held on 21 April and 27 April.
will remain open until 17:30 on 24th May 2021. All responses should be submitted to CommunityRESS@decc.gov.ie
or in writing to CBF Consultation, Electricity Policy Division, Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, 29-31 Adelaide Road, Dublin 2, Ireland. D02X285.
Notes to the Editor
In framing a set of Good Practice Principles for Community Benefit Funds, the Government is mindful of the overarching objective to ensure that local communities that host these renewable electricity projects should be at the heart of the decision making process as to where to allocate the funding. The principles take account of the need to invest in communities, and to avoid undue regulation and restrictions on the ability of communities to define their own priorities and objectives.
Following consideration of submissions to this consultation, a final document will be published by the Minister prior to 1st July 2021.
Please note that all submissions and comments submitted to DECC for the purpose of this consultation may be subject to release under the Freedom of Information Act 1997-2003 and will be published on the Department’s website. Any information which is commercially sensitive should be clearly indicated in the submission.