New deal on district heating, hydro, solar, wind power

James Nix the Green Party’s candidate in the city’s North Ward, says new rules allowing electricity to be sold back to the ESB will cut costs, boost jobs and help meet our environmental commitments.

James Nix said we send 6 billion euro abroad every year to buy fossil fuels, and this new initiative is a major step in keeping this money in Ireland to been spent on wind, solar, hydro and district heating schemes.

Highlighting the new incentives, James Nix said that local producers of energy will now be paid for spare power they generate. “Until now we have lived with an electricity network designed to accommodate the flow of electricity from large centralised plants to customers spread throughout the country. We to to change to deal with the challenges ahead and micro-generation at local level now introduces two-way flows to the electricity system. Local generators will be paid by the ESB for electricity that is surplus to their own requirements and the energy can be sold on to where it’s needed.”

District heating offers great promise in Limerick, according to James Nix. We’re lucky in having a steady supply of wood reasonably close to the city; burning timber in district heating plants generates electricity as well as heat for local homes, according to James.

The first 4,000 people to sign up to the scheme with the ESB will get a guaranteed price of 19 cents per kWh. Non ESB customers will get 10c per kWh. “This initiative paves the way for local power generation, whether it’s harnessing the tide of the Shannon or district heating schemes using local wood. Green policy will help people to lower their energy costs and to fight climate change.

“The rules have changed. Before, you received your power from a central source and paid for it. Now you can generate for yourself and be paid for the excess you don’t use. We can use our abundant natural resources to bolster the economy, create skilled, lasting, green-collar jobs and reduce carbon emissions at the same time.

“This type of long-term investment with a guaranteed return, represents the best value for spending and lending. “By generating power at home from clean, renewable sources, we will improve our
energy independence and keep more money in Ireland. We do not want to be dependent on Russia, Saudi Arabia or even England for our energy needs; we can supply our own.”

Further information – A leaflet for consumers is available at: http://www.sei.ie/Publications/Renewables_Publications/connecting_RE_and_chp_to_network.pdf

The new support price is being introduced along with a number of other measures in the Government’s micro-generation programme including:

  • Connection: An “Inform and Fit” connection policy to be introduced by ESB Networks to reduce the length of time and complexity of the connection process. Sustainable Energy Ireland also has clear information explaining the connection process
  • Grant assistance for R & D: This pilot study includes grant assistance for 40% of the cost of 50 trial units (of up to 50kW) countrywide. Applications are being accepted by Sustainable Energy Ireland
  • Planning exemptions: The Department of Environment has made small scale generation from low-carbon sources exempt from planning permission. The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources will continue to work with the Department of Environment on planning issues surrounding renewable energy installations.

Announcing the programme Minister Ryan said, “We are changing the rules and changing the nature of electricity generation in Ireland. Before, you received your power from a central source and paid for it. Now you can generate for yourself and be paid for the excess you don’t use.

On-site electricity generation will put more money into consumers’ pockets. This type of long-term investment with a guaranteed return, represents the best value for spending and lending.

We can use our abundant natural resources to bolster the economy, create green-collar jobs and reduce carbon emissions at the same time. Customers interested in installing microgeneration technologies and with technical queries contact ESB Networks at 1850 372 757.

Further detail will be available from ESB Customer Supply https://www.esb.ie/esbcustomersupply/residential/ shortly Those interested in the small and micro-scale pilot field trials, contact:
SEI at 01 8369080; www.sei.ie/grants/microgenpilot or email microgen@sei.ie

Customer Connection guide for micro generation are available at http://www.sei.ie/Publications/Renewables_Publications/consumer_microgen_brochure.pdf and www.esb.ie/esbnetworks

A full guide to connecting renewable and Combined Heat and Power (District Heating) electricity generators of all sizes to the network is available at: http://www.sei.ie/Publications/Renewables_Publications/connecting_RE_and_chp_to_network.pdf

Note for editors: The export price will be available for up to 4000 micro generation units for a period three years. This suite of measures will then inform the development of a long-term micro
generation programme. ESB Customer Supply and ESB Networks will contribute 9 cents and 10 cents respectively towards this tariff. Domestic electricity users registered with ESB will receive a full tariff of 19c/kWh within limits set out above. Non-ESB customers will receive a 10c/kWh tariff for any excess electricity sold back to the grid.