Green Party’s Trish Forde-Brennan welcomes the news that the public can now avail of a scheme to produce and sell electricity back to the ESB for distribution to the National Grid. This has real potential for us to reduce our electricity bills and to provide extra monies to both individual homes and farms.It is a scheme worth applying for with the added bonus that the first 4,000 applicants will be guaranteed a price of 19 cent per kWH hour of electricity produced.
This competitive feed-in tariff will apply to the first 4,000 micro-generation installations countrywide over the next three years. Eligible installations include small scale wind, photovoltaic, hydro and combined heat and power.
Traditionally, the electricity network was designed to accommodate the flow of electricity from large centralised plants to customers dispersed throughout the country. Micro-generation at local level now introduces two-way flows to the electricity system. Local generators will have the ability to be paid by the ESB for electricity that is surplus to their own requirements and export it back to the national grid.
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.