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 the Department's webinars being held to gather feedback on the draft handbook. The webinars will be held on 21 April and 27 April.
The consultation 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.