The climate action plan launched last month sets out Ireland's 2030 ambitions and puts the State on the right trajectory to meet net zero emissions by 2050. The plan provides that a support payment for excess electricity generated on site and exported to the grid will be available to all microgenerators by 2021 at the latest. ESB Networks and the Commission for Regulation of Utilities will assess potential implications for the distribution network of higher penetration of microgeneration by the end of 2019. Furthermore, my Department will establish a working group to set policy objectives which, in turn, will lead to the detailed design of the support scheme. The annexe to the climate action plan contains the detailed actions, timelines and associated responsibility to ensure delivery.
To ensure fairness to microgenerators and energy consumers, there are a number of issues that need to be considered and addressed in developing a scheme for microgeneration. These include a reform of the network charges, an assessment of the distributional impact of such a policy decision on the public service obligation levy, PSO, and the development of a fair tariff for exported electricity taking into account the benefits of self-consumption. This approach is in line with the experience of other EU member states which have attempted to introduce supports for microgeneration.
The microgeneration pilot scheme, launched last year and administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, SEAI, is being reviewed and the costs of installation are being assessed. The data gathered during this pilot scheme will inform potential future phases of support for microgeneration that may be appropriate, as we align with the ambition of the recast renewable energy directive, which recognises the rights, entitlements and obligations of renewable self-consumers. The Microgeneration Support Scheme Bill 2017 was not opposed by the Government. The Select Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment has held a number of hearings into this issue in recent months.