Energy Minister, Eamon Ryan has announced a pilot grant scheme
which will allow users to generate electricity for their own
Electricity will be generated via small-scale technologies
such as wind turbines and solar power, with the potential
to sell excess power back to suppliers. Grant support
to meet 50% of the initial start-up costs will be made available
for the installation of microgeneration systems in approximately
50 trials to be conducted nationwide.
Speaking at the annual SEI Energy Show at the RDS, Minister
Ryan said - "We are starting to make great strides with
large-scale renewable energy, which will impact on power generation
on a national level. Today, we focus on small-scale generation
in commercial sites and domestic dwellings.”
With €2 million being provided in 2008 by the Department
of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, the programme
will be administered by Sustainable Energy Ireland in conjunction
with key stakeholders - including the Commission for Energy
Regulation, ESB Networks and electricity suppliers. The scheme
follows a change in regulations last year, allowing people
to sell electricity back to the grid. It will provide the
groundwork for consideration of a set feed-in tariff for electricity
produced through microgeneration.
Welcoming the programme, Minister Ryan said - "This
scheme will empower electricity users to take action. The
change in regulations, last year, has cleared the way for
Irish people to sell electricity back to the national grid.
This - along with today’s announcement and the roll-out of
smart meters - will ultimately mean that, everyday, in every
home, people can use power in the most efficient manner possible.
"We know from international experience that microgeneration
can provide a sustainable, reliable and affordable alternative
to the traditional methods of power generation. It is time
to provide such an alternative here.”
Full details of the scheme are set to be announced over the
 The grant aspect of the scheme will
largely focus on commercial/organisational on-site generation
in its initial phases. It will then concentrate on generation
by individual householders.
1. SEI will announce full details of the field trials
to be managed by them in the Summer. It will involve technologies
such as small-scale wind and photovoltaics (PV) which have
not previously had widespread application in the Irish market.
Specific funding levels and qualification criteria
remain to be finalised and will be announced in due course.
2. The programme will have a number of technical and
economic aspects, including -
- Preparation of options for a tariff for the export of
electricity from small and microgenerators
- Defining the requirements for qualification and certification
- Defining necessary arrangements for qualification, certification
and training of installers
- Monitoring field trials of technologies
- Economic studies of the medium and long-term market potential
- Investigate impact of high concentrations of micro and
small-scale generators on the electricity transmission system.