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Energy Production

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 10 November 2020

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Questions (135)

Holly Cairns


135. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications the status of the development of a microgeneration scheme to incentivise persons generating their own energy. [35119/20]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Programme for Government commits to prioritising the development of micro-generation, letting people sell excess power back to the grid by July 2021. The following measures will assist in delivering this commitment:The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) published a Roadmap for the EU Clean Energy Package’s Electricity and Renewables Directives in March this year, which provides for a public consultation on the regulatory framework for prosumer development later this year. My Department has provided €10.1m in recent years to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) for the Solar PV grant scheme to help domestic customers generate electricity through installing rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) equipment on their homes, with 4,104 applications processed to date, saving approx. 3.34 kiloTonnes CO2 per annum. The Department has engaged with SEAI on a review of the scheme to gather data on installation costs, the impact of grant amount and other scheme changes on industry, demand and customer behaviour in order to capture the lessons learned for the Micro-generation Framework.

My officials have also engaged with the Department of Housing, Local Heritage and Heritage (DHLGH) to review the existing planning exemptions for rooftop solar PV. Officials from the DHLGH have agreed in principle to a revision to the existing exemptions that will include provision for apartments, community and educational buildings including schools.

A Micro-Generation working group, chaired by my Department, is examining an enabling framework for micro- generation which tackles existing barriers and establishes suitable supports within relevant market segments. The proposed support mechanism will be outlined in a public consultation in the coming months.

A suitable payment for excess electricity generated on site and exported to the grid will be available to all microgenerators by 2021 in line with the transposition of the recast Renewable Energy Directive (2018/2001) into Irish law.