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Dublin urged to axe onshore support

State support for onshore wind should be scrapped when Ireland’s current feed-in tariff expires in 2017, according to Dublin’s competitiveness watchdog.

In a report published today, the National Competitiveness Council warned against continued renewable subsidies once the Refit 2 mechanism runs its course.

The NCC is made up of senior civil servants, business groups and union representatives, as well as executives from large companies including Google and PayPal. It reports to the Taoiseach.

According to its latest report, Ireland’s Competitiveness Challenge 2014, current state supports for electricity generation are unsustainable.

“It is critically important for the effective functioning of the all-island electricity market that renewable generation capacity is subject to market forces to the greatest extent possible,” the report said.

“As a mature technology, price supports for new onshore wind projects should be discontinued when Refit 2 ends in 2017.

“Enterprise opportunities in emerging energy technologies should be funded by the exchequer through competitive funding mechanisms for R&D rather than by energy customers.”

The NCC is also calling for a full cost-benefit analysis of energy policy before Dublin commits to 2030 climate change targets.