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Announcement of contracts under Ireland's Alternative Energy Requirement (AER) has been delayed, among other things by the change of government at the end of last year. But news of contracts and grant aid under the scheme, similar in structure to England's Non Fossil Fuel Obligation, is due early this month. Contracts will run for up to 15 years. The Electricity Supply Board (ESB), which is administering the scheme on behalf of the Department of Energy, reports that the closing date for proposals under the AER was put back from December to January 3. ESB's Liam O'Donnell says there has been a huge number of enquiries. The wind portion of the AER is expected to make up 30 MW of the 75 MW national target, which must all be installed within two years of the date on which contracts are announced. The ESB will not reveal who has won through to the second round short list, only saying that projects will be judged on their competitiveness and type of technology.

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