Target for 33 percent renewables by 2020

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Renewable energy will supply a third of all electricity in Ireland by 2020 if the country succeeds in meeting the government's latest target unveiled in its new energy policy, an increase to 33% renewables from an earlier proposal for 30%. Wind will be "pivotal" in meeting the target, according to the energy white paper: "Delivering a Sustainable Energy Future for Ireland." Nonetheless, it outlines plans for broadening the renewables base with ambitions for some 800 MW from biomass in combined heat and power plants and 500 MW of ocean technologies by 2020. Other targets for 2020 include 10% for biofuels' share of transport fuel and 12% penetration of renewables in the heat market. The current support system, dubbed REFIT or renewable energy feed-in tariff, is to be extended to include biomass to enable Ireland to meet its 2015 goal of 15% electricity from renewables. But the means for reaching the 2020 target are vague; the government says it will achieve the 33% through support for research, development commercialisation and technology transfer and through bringing down grid and planning barriers to offshore wind, marine renewables and biomass. These options are to be reviewed once the merger of Ireland's separate markets north and south of the border into a single energy market is complete later this year.

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