More power to you: Household solar energy grants on way

A scheme to financially support small-scale solar energy generation in Irish homes will be rolled out this summer, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten has announced.

The grants will be for roof-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. Initially, they will support “self consumption” of electricity in domestic properties – ie the energy generated will not be fed into the national grid.

However, it is envisaged the scheme will in time be rolled out to small businesses; community organisations, sports clubs and farmers – though a timetable for this has to be finalised.

“It is my intention to open a grant-aided pilot scheme this summer for solar PV microgeneration, targeted initially at self-consumption and for domestic properties,” he said. “This will be the first phase in a multi-phased implementation of supports for microgeneration in Ireland. ”

“The reality is that bringing microgen onto a /[electricity supply]/ 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,” Mr Naughten told the 2018 Renewable Energy Summit this week.

Pat Smith, joint chairman of the Micro-Renewable Energy Federation (MREF), welcomed the announcement but called for the pilot scheme to be quickly extended to businesses and farmers.

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