Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Ceisteanna (2278, 2279)

Catherine Martin

Ceist:

2278. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the expected timeline for the introduction of grid feed-in tariffs for domestic solar energy systems; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33779/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Catherine Martin

Ceist:

2279. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to introduce solar energy system incentives specifically for schools and other public buildings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33780/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2278 and 2279 together.

The All of Government Climate Action Plan, which I recently launched, will ensure that Ireland will reach our 2030 targets and will put us on the right trajectory to meet net zero emissions by 2050. One of the Plan deliverables will be the development of a support policy for micro-generation which will provide a pathway to the public to participate in and benefit from this transition. Action 30 of the Plan, which includes the establishment of a working group in Q3 2019, sets out the steps necessary and timelines for the delivery of an enabling framework for micro-generation. It is intended that the working group will be established shortly.

The Plan provides that a support payment for excess electricity generated on site and exported to the grid will be available to all micro-generators by 2021. As laid out in the Annex of Actions, the ESB Networks (ESBN) and the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU) will assess potential implications for the distribution network of higher penetrations of micro-generation by the end of 2019.

More broadly, it is important that we improve the energy efficiency of our buildings, including our homes, workplaces and schools, by meeting higher energy performance standards and by increasing retrofit activity. The Climate Action Plan recognises that public bodies can act to stimulate and inspire wider action and confers a new responsibility on each public sector body to demonstrate leadership through a Climate Action Mandate. Leading and incentivising solar energy systems for schools and other public buildings are matters for the Department of Education and Skills and the Office Of Public Works respectively.

In addition, SEAI co-operates with the Department of Education and Skills in running an Energy in Education Programme.