IWEA calls for 100 MW a year

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The Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) is calling for a rolling program of competitive bidding for premium power purchase contracts to bring on line 100 MW of new wind plant a year until 2010. In recommendations to the Irish government's review of sustainable energy, the IWEA favours annual awards of 20 year contracts with a pre-determined tariff in place of the existing competitive Alternative Energy Requirement (AER). Four bands, each with different tariffs, are proposed: schemes larger than 10 MW with a base price of at least IR£0.03/kWh; 2-10 MW schemes with a base price of at least IR£ 0.033/kWh; schemes of less than 2 MW with a base price of at least IR£ 0.036; domestic micro installations of less than 100 kW with each unit of wind generated offsetting the owners' monthly demand. As a guide, IWEA suggests annual band sizes of 60, 25, 20 and 5 MW respectively. Tariffs would be reviewed yearly or biennially. Developers should obtain planning permission before being granted contracts. This system of support would address some of the shortcomings of the AER process and provide stability for the market, the IWEA claims. If adopted in full it could lead to 1150 MW of installed capacity by 2010, providing 12% of projected electricity demand and create some 640 jobs. The Department of Public Enterprise expects to publish its Green Paper on Sustainable Energy by the end of the year.

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