The association states that the measures announced are aimed at increasing the amount of renewable electricity generated by energy users.
Solar panels located across residential and commercial rooftops as well as in agricultural settings are likely to be the most common technologies used.
Energy being exported to the grid
While this energy is primarily designed to be used where it is being generated, the energy consumer will now be compensated for any excess energy being sent to the grid.
Businesses, farms, and community buildings up to 5.9kW will also be eligible for grant support.
“Today’s announcement will provide new options, empowering people, farmers, communities, and businesses to produce their very own green energy. At a time when energy bills are soaring this will empower many more people to reduce their costs and dependency on energy markets.”
“These new measures can deliver a step-change in how Irish Society responds to climate change; giving people an entry point to take meaningful action.”
Bolger added that the potential of solar energy is huge, and that Ireland could be generating one gigawatt (GW) of solar energy from thus ‘customer scale generation’ by the end of the decade.
Financial incentives available for solar power
Bolger states that the measures provide both upfront assistance and a long-term financial incentive.
“Similarly providing farms, communities and small businesses with support addresses a longstanding gap in our policy framework.
“This framework could enable farmers, often cast as the pariahs of the climate conversation, to take practical and positive actions towards decarbonisation.”
“Inclusion of businesses, communities and farms can maximise the significant potential of microgeneration” he added.
The ISEA has warned that the current issues being experienced is trying to connect projects to the electricity network must be addressed, or these efforts may be redundant.
“The solar technology is there and ready to be deployed with householders, farmers and communities all eager to engage”, Bolger continued.
“One of the biggest risks is ESB Networks, it must be primed to connect every single customer-scaled generator within a consistent and reasonable timeframe. The delays that have been experienced by solar projects to date can no longer be an option.”
“By easing requirements on BER ratings, the government will have removed a barrier to customer-scale solar. Making an expensive renovation a precondition for access would have limited this scheme’s effectiveness” Bolger continued.
“Rooftop solar panels have become a common sight across the country. While robust planning rules are essential for all large solar projects, too many rooftop installations still require planning permission. This acts as an arbitrary barrier for these smaller schemes,” Bolger stated.
“Failure to amend planning regulations in a timely manner would maintain an unnecessary constraint on Ireland’s solar energy capacity.”
The ISEA said that most people in Ireland want to take action to reduce their carbon footprint adding that these new measures create a practical route for doing so.
O’Donnell, C, (2021). “Farms to benefit’ as Ryan launches micro-generation scheme’. Agriland. Date accessed: 13/01/2022. Read full article here: https://www.agriland.ie/farming-news/farms-to-benefit-as-ryan-launches-micro-generation-scheme/ ©Agriland