Solar PV Grant For Irish Homes Welcomed

Solar PV Grant With Activ8 Solar Energies & SSE Airtricity

It’s with great pleasure that we welcome the grant announced today by the SEAI. As one of the leading advocates of solar PV in Ireland we have seen many false dawns in previous years. We have sat on many boards discussing the benefits and possible pitfalls of introducing an incentive, as well as speaking at solar events sharing our experience in other markets and countries. Upon Minister Naughten’s announcement earlier this year, the hope was this would not be a false dawn, and as we worked as advisors to the SEAI on the format of the grant, it’s great to see the hard work pay off today.

In brief the grant will work as follows:

Without Battery (Max €1,400)
€700 per kWp up to and capped at 2kWp

With Battery (Max €3,800)
€700 per kWp up to and capped at 4kWp Solar
+
€1000 for battery once sized greater than 2kWhrs

Conditions:

- Buildings built and occupied before 2011
- Post-works BER required
- PV works must be installed after July 31st 2018
- Systems must be grid tied
- Grant is a one-off payment
- 2-year pilot scheme reviewed every 6 months

This theme is all about self-consumption and practicality. Regarding self-consumption, we have found that 2kWp systems can achieve approximately 80% usage of all energy generated, brought close to 100% with battery storage or hot water diverts. By encouraging self-consumption, it means the best value is being obtained by the customer. Regarding practicality, there are schemes around the world still being administered and staffed long after the scheme has closed, hence we welcome the upfront one-off grant payment. This allows for the quick implementation of the scheme and eliminates the grandfather costs when the pilot ends.

We would like to commend the SEAI on their speedy response to Minister Naughten’s call to action. These schemes take a lot of planning and forethought, and the expedited manner in which the members of the SEAI brought this pilot about is a credit to them as an organisation.

Finally, we would like to give credit to our partners at SSE Airtricity for their foresight in all things renewable. SSE Airtricity’s investment in Activ8 further reaffirms their position as the leading supplier of renewable energy to Irish households.

Through our partnership, we are rolling out the following offer to customers -

All current, and new, SSE Airtricity customers who purchase a system from Activ8 will receive €250 cashback from Activ8 on point of install.

Looking at today's announcement, our CEO Ciaran Marron concluded with:
"Having spent the last 12 years in the solar industry, it is not lost on me that we are exactly 12 years away from 2030, a monumental year in our climate change efforts. The announcement today shows our commitment as a country towards our goals in this regard".

For more information on Solar PV and how to avail of the grant, click here.


New Name For Department Sees Climate Change Importance Grow in Government

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Denis Naughten said the department would be known as the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment when the transfer of functions from the previous Department of Environment, Community and Local Government was completed. Mr Naughten said the transfer of the environment function allowed the synergies between climate and sustainable energy policy to be fully realised.
“It brings a coherence across the various policy areas involved, and will ensure that Ireland addresses the challenges in ways that are technically feasible, cost-effective and fair in terms of Ireland’s contribution to the overall EU ambition.’’

Mr Naughten said the Government would continue to strive to protect Ireland’s energy supply, generation, security, affordability and sustainability, and to ensure Ireland complied with international energy and climate-change policies. The Minister was replying to Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, the very man that opened the Activ8 Solar Energies headquarters in Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan all of 7 years ago. Eamon Ryan has said including “environment’’ in the title would allow Mr Naughten in his ministerial duties to “grab the power and grow the department, to strengthen and empower it within Government’’.

We tend to agree with Mr. Ryan to the extent that not only should the word “environment” be included in the title of the department, it should be intertwined throughout each department, rather than isolated on its own. However, this move will allow Minister Naughten to approach other departments in his ministerial position with a view to discussing the impact renewable energy may have on their day-to-day operations and where improvements can be made. This can only be seen as a positive step in relation to the growth of the solar power industry in Ireland. Although steps have already been realised in this regard, with state bodies including solar pv on new builds of all descriptions, from schools to council buildings, it is important that we keep pushing the potential of solar pv for electricity generation in Ireland given our generous annual solar yield and ability to produce substantial amounts of solar electricity from solar pv systems across the country, with the highest yields experienced in the sunny South East.

Although solar isn’t the only show in town, it is important to note the ministers hesitations in relation to wind turbines. The Minister for Communications, Climate Change and Natural Resources said he accepted a significant number of people had objections to wind turbines, with a view to further consultation on the technology and infrastructure. "There is an issue in relation to wind turbines, there is absolutely no doubt about that," he said. "We also have the potential rollout of solar power as well, in relation to electricity generation," he added. The latter part of this statement bodes well for solar growth in Ireland.