Data centres and other high-energy businesses will be permitted to build direct power lines to solar and wind farms under new government plans.
Currently, the 1999 Electricity Regulation Act states that solar and wind farms must generally connect to the national electricity grid to distribute their renewable energy.
The renewable sector has complained that there can be long delays in getting these connections approved by Eirgrid and ESB Networks, who manage and own the grid respectively.
This has a knock-on effect on applying for planning permission, because getting a connection request approved is obligatory before it can be granted.
Eamon Ryan, the Minister for the Environment, is now working on plans to allow solar and wind farms to be directly connected by private lines to businesses with large energy needs.
He confirmed to Richard Bruton, the Fine Gael TD, that he will launch a public consultation in June about “direct lines”, with the aim of coming up with a new policy proposal before the end of the year.