Renewable Energy

The European Green Deal makes the decarbonisation of the EU's energy system a critical priority in reaching its ultimate climate objective of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.  Clean energy supply across all economic sectors is an essential foundation of the European Green Deal, with specific focusses on areas such as increased offshore wind production, deployment of innovative technologies and infrastructure, energy storage, energy efficiency, grid solutions, hydrogen production and carbon capture and storage. It is also clear that both public and private funding initiatives will play a key role in development and commercialisation of breakthrough and market-ready technologies and other low-carbon solutions.

Climate change is an increasing part of public discussion especially with the enactment of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021, committing the State to 2030 and 2050 targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

On 17 June, 2019, the Irish government published its Climate Action Plan 2019, which sets out its proposed policy measures for addressing the threat of climate change in Ireland and meeting ambitious environmental targets over the next 40 years. The Minister is currently preparing an annual update to the 2019 Climate Action Plan for Government approval. Ireland's target of achieving 70% of electricity generated from renewable energy by 2030 will demand a huge level of investment and development over the next number of years, particularly in offshore wind and new technologies including battery storage. Other areas such as more flexible demand management from for example data centres which are anticipated to require over 30% of Ireland's energy demand by 2027 will be important.

A&L Goodbody's Energy, Infrastructure and Natural Resources group and Environmental and Planning group are at the forefront of delivering the Green Deal and Climate Action Plan targets in Ireland. Our expertise in regulation, new developments, sustainable financing and transactions in both more established technologies and importantly nascent technologies and other low-carbon energy solutions makes us the go-to partner on the island of Ireland in the renewable energy sector.

Having advised on over 3GW of renewable energy projects our renewable energy team is renowned for its experience, deep specialist  local knowledge, being commercially savvy and getting the deal done.

Some of our renewable energy experience includes:

Our market leading offshore wind team is at the forefront of developments in the Irish offshore wind market. We are the only Irish law firm to have advised on the successful development of an offshore wind project in Ireland, namely Phase1 of the Arklow Bank project. We have been appointed to advise on the development of three separate new offshore developments, including the c. 400 MW Oriel Windfarm off County Louth. We have been involved in a number of the most high profile M&A transactions in the sector in the last 24 months. Our offshore wind team includes senior members who have worked on the consenting and financing of a number of significant UK offshore windfarms including Gunfleet Sands, Walney and Triton Knoll.

Our team is one of the most experienced and highly regarded in the Irish onshore wind market, having advised on the development, construction and financing of over 40 onshore windfarms with aggregate capacity of in excess of 2GW and in over €2bn of onshore wind M&A transactions. Our team comprises local specialists across a number of legal areas including property, planning & environmental, energy regulation, construction, finance and corporate and M&A. This allows us to advise project developers, investors and funders on the full lifecycle of onshore wind projects. We are a firm of choice for project developers, equity investors and funders to projects because of the exceptional quality of our local specialists, our collaborative style and our pragmatic and commercial approach.

Our all island solar team has advised on the acquisition, construction and financing of more solar projects than any other firm on the Island. We have advised developers, equity investors, energy utilities and funders on ground mounted and rooftop solar projects in Ireland and Northern Ireland, both on a portfolio and single asset basis. Our team also includes senior members who have advised on the construction and financing of a significant number of solar projects in the UK.

Energy storage and grid services solutions will be critical in achieving Ireland's ambition to increase renewable energy penetration on our grid system. Our team has significant experience advising on battery storage projects and other grid services and DS3 services solutions. This includes advising on a two phase hybrid diesel and battery storage solution in Ireland as well as a number of integrated wind and battery storage projects, including the first of its kind to be deployed in Ireland.

Our Data Centres team comprises specialists from multiple practice groups including Energy, Infrastructure & Natural Resources, Environmental & Planning, Commercial Property, Construction and Commercial & Technology. They have extensive experience advising international clients on the development, acquisition, financing and operation of data centres in Ireland. Our in-depth market knowledge enables us to advise across multi-faceted aspects of data centre development, from energy regulatory matters, grid connections and electricity supply arrangements to planning & environmental matters, tenancy arrangements, service level agreements and construction contracts. We also advise multi-national corporations on the management of European data through Ireland and Irish subsidiaries, including the legal and regulatory advantages of doing so.

Energy efficiency projects are at the heart of the energy initiatives of the European Green Deal. Our team has advised on many important energy efficiency projects on the island of Ireland, including utilities outsourcing contracts for breweries, dairies and manufacturing facilities and hotel energy efficiency retrofitting projects. We have also recently advised on the financing of major energy retrofit schemes and energy savings sharing projects for two major hospitals.

Renewable electrification of transport and related infrastructure is at the forefront of initiatives to help achieve the European Union targets on CO2 emissions reduction. We have advised on planning, real estate, energy regulation and commercial contracts in the electrical vehicle sector.

The European Green Deal states that hydrogen is a priority area for a clean and circular economy and will be a key instrument in driving the green revolution and for meeting the Green Deal objectives. While in its relative infancy on the island of Ireland, we are strongly placed to advise in respect of hydrogen projects, having advised in respect of Energia's ground-breaking green hydrogen production pilot, funded by Interreg North West Europe and GENCOMM (GENerating energy secure COMMunities through Smart Renewable Hydrogen) to fuel Translink's hydrogen bus scheme in Belfast.