Residential Solar In Ireland Gets A Boost
At Renewable Energy Summit 2018, Irish Energy Minister, Denis Naughten announced Ireland's first support scheme for residential PV.
The grant aided pilot scheme for PV microgeneration will focus on residential self-consumption and will begin this summer.
Minister Naughten acknowledged that bringing microgen onto a system designed for large generators is complicated.
"It impacts how we pay for the network, how we manage regulation and how we technically manage the system.
These same challenges are now being faced by other EU Member States who have already implemented schemes and are now having to reform them.
While I will not let these challenges be a barrier to bring support to this key sector, it would be reckless if we didn't learn from the experiences of other countries and implement best practice. The recast Renewables Directive recognises the rights, entitlements and obligations of both renewable energy communities and renewable self-consumers; and the Directive will instruct Member States to implement measures to remunerate these micro generators who feed self-generated electricity into the grid.
I am committed to supporting this".
Minister Naughten has asked the SEAI to conduct a behavioural and attitudes study into the likely demand for and impact of microgeneration among the public with the intention to open a grant aided pilot scheme this summer for solar PV microgeneration, targeted initially at self-consumption and for domestic properties.
"This will be the first phase in a multi-phased implementation of supports for microgeneration in Ireland, as we explore other options and move toward the new Directive and enable the renewable self-consumer".
The cost of the solar PV cells has come down rapidly in price over previous years, putting a once expensive technology within reach of everyday consumers. Many believe targeting individual households will be key to boosting Ireland's solar capacity.
The RESS (Renewable Electric Support Scheme) program, which was announced last year, will provide support for large-scale renewables through a competitive bidding process.
The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme was concieved to incentivise the introduction of sufficient renewable electricity generation to meet national and EU-wide renewable energy and decarbonisation targets out to 2030
The scheme for solar microgeneration was not included in the RESS announcement much to the disappointment of the rooftop lobby.
The Irish government is currently offering no feed-in tariff and is one of the last countries in Europe to address the potential of solar as a viable renewable option.
This means that Ireland has huge untapped potential for solar and storage.