Feed-In Tariff 2021 - Sell Solar Electricity Back To The Grid

In a welcome development, the Irish government, through Minister Eamon Ryan (Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications) announced that the design and consultation process was beginning in order to formulate how the scheme will look and function. Submissions for this are being accepted until Thursday February 18th. There are currently no support schemes in place and while we recently discussed the explosion in solar providers since the arrival of the SEAI solar PV grant at the end of July 2018, it was a very welcome addition to the government's strategy in encouraging micro-generation in private homes for the proliferation of solar pv and renewable energy throughout Ireland. This is the next step in our national goal of reducing carbon emissions. It's important that this feed-in tariff is brought in with micro-generation at the heart of it and here's why.

The Future of Solar PV and Renewable Energy In Ireland

When looking at the sectoral output of carbon emissions in Ireland, we know that the top 3 can be targeted and reduced by renewable energy projects. The top 3, are 1. Agriculture, 2. Energy and 3. Transport - with transport being the biggest mover from 1990 levels up to the current day. With agriculture, Irish farmers are known for being one of the most efficient nations in the world in how they operate. There are efforts being made all the time to further eliminate or offset emissions in this industry. We're even involved in this ourselves with our partners SSE Airtricity and Glanbia Ireland through FarmGen. When it comes to a micro-generation feed-in tariff, of course this will further incentivise farmers, but there is a greater opportunity in Ireland with domestic households and how they are projected to evolve over this decade. Through this avenue, we can tackle both the energy sector and the transport sector. The SEAI is already incentivising the sales of EVs here in Ireland and it is only a matter of time before they reach parity and then become cheaper to manufacture in comparison to their petrol/diesel-powered counterparts. So when we think of the evolution of transport in this country, we can't just depend on industry to implement these changes. We've seen how An Post has managed to eliminate much of its fossil fuel-powered fleet and replace it with electric mobility - they managed to make Dublin the first capital city in the entire world with zero emissions postal delivery and they are to be commended for such. It's time to place the power of change in the hands of the homeowner. With expected cost parity in the years to come for electric vehicles, we need the foresight to implement changes in our electricity/energy mix at a domestic level so that homeowners are ready to buy an electrical vehicle and have the ability to generate electricity in their homes. This way, we tackle both the energy sector and the transport sector through micro-generation in Irish homes.

Learning From European Counterparts

It's important to learn from appropriate case studies, not only how they were implemented, but more importantly, what worked and what didn't. Unfortunately, being in a position to learn and look back on foreign policy shows that we are way behind. In Germany, their guaranteed feed-in tariffs under Germany’s Renewable Energy Act (EEGsaw the share of renewable power, mostly coming from wind, solar PV and biomass, in electricity generation rise from about 3.5 percent in 1990 to 35 percent in 2018. But as of 2021, more and more renewable installations will lose their guaranteed funding as their 20 years of EEG payments come to an end. 20 years! Germany is at the end of their first feed-in tariff programme and for domestic solar, there are issues around fluctuating price points due to the old technology for metering - whereas we won't face that issue in Ireland with the modern technology available for metering purposes. So we do have technology on our side.

National Appetite For Change

It is important to note that as time moves and technology grows, it can be hard to see the slow-moving changes in one persons attitude, nevermind an entire nation. We feel that the appetite for countering climate change in Ireland has been consistently improving. There have always been steadfast advocates in this regard, but it's important that they are supported by more and more as the need becomes greater. No less, the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan that announced this consultation, has been a strong advocate in this area for many years. A younger Minister Ryan can be seen at the opening of our first head office in May of 2009 in Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan. The same place where we are currently building our brand new headquarters, to help us continue our growth in the years ahead.

We look forward to the consultation process and working both internally and with our dedicated partners in providing submissions to try and make sure our customers are justly rewarded for their generation and that we create a fair and equitable microgeneration market that encourages many more homeowners and businesses to start generating renewable electricity through the installation of solar panels.

As a company that prides itself on our quality of service, we would love to hear from our customers and solar enthusiasts on what issues they would like addressed in the consultation phase and what they want to see incorporated as part of the scheme, you can send any and all submissions to info@activ8energies.com.