27 September 2022
By Tom Collins
Aindrias Moynihan welcomes new solar PV grants for businesses, public organisations and community groups
Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West, Aindrias Moynihan has welcomed the launch of new grants of up to €2400 for businesses, public organisations and community groups for the installation of solar PV (photovoltaic) panels. The new grant scheme will be implemented through the SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland).
Commenting on the latest supports, Deputy Moynihan said: “Right now the emphasis is on helping businesses future-proof their electricity supply by installing the necessary technology to assist them in taking control of their energy costs.”
The Cork North West TD added: “Solar PV installations on the roofs of businesses, public organisations and community groups can help them harness the power of the sun to fulfill their own power needs first and then also potentially getting paid for any excess energy they have created.”
Deputy Moynihan concluded: “While farms can also apply for this particular scheme, I would hope that similar future schemes can be tailored for the farming and agriculture sector specifically. There are many large-scale farm buildings right across this island that could have vast solar panels installed on their roofs and this would prove hugely beneficial in providing power for not only their needs but almost certainly for the good of the national grid as well.”
Solar PV (photovoltaic) panels convert energy from the sun into electricity, thereby reducing the amount of electricity a building draws from the national grid and, thus, lowering electricity bills.
At the current high electricity prices, a business might expect to save €2,000-3,000 per annum from a solar PV system supported under this scheme. This means that the installation can pay for itself quickly – thus helping to protect businesses and organisations (such as sports clubs) across the country against rising energy prices into the future (through significantly reduced electricity bills).
This announcement signals the latest phase in the Government’s Micro-generation Support Scheme. The first phase of the Micro-generation Support Scheme was launched in December 2021, offering grants for solar PV panels on domestic houses. In 2022 the maximum grant available is €2,400 and it will remain at this level for 2023. In February of this year the Government announced an export tariff – the Clean Export Guarantee (CEG) – as part of the scheme. This provided the mechanism by which householders can be paid (by energy suppliers) for excess electricity exported back into the national grid.
The scheme will provide grant funding up to a maximum of €2,400 towards the installation of solar PV technology up to a maximum of 6kWp (approximately 16 solar panels over 25m2). The scheme provides an opportunity for all areas of the non-domestic sector to not only reduce their electricity bills, but to visibly demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and Ireland’s broader climate action goals.
To apply visit www.seai.ie and follow the outlined steps.
Clean Export Guarantee (CEG) – to save on your electricity bills
A key benefit of micro-generation is the money you save on your electricity bill, by producing some of your own electricity – using renewable sources.
Work is ongoing at pace, to ensure that all micro-generators will quickly receive payments for surplus electricity that goes back into the grid. Most suppliers have already now advertised their Clean Export Guarantee (CEG) tariff rates. Micro-generators will not lose out while payment systems are put in place. Payments will be backdated to the date of eligibility or the 15th February 2022 (the date the relevant regulations were enacted), whichever is the latest.
Clean Export Premium (CEP) — for installation sizes greater than 6kWe up to 50kWe
The final phase of the Micro-generation Support Scheme will involve the introduction of a Clean Export Premium (CEP) feed-in tariff – to support electricity exported to the grid from non-domestic applicants for installation sizes greater than 6kWe up to 50kWe. The CRU (Commission for Regulation of Utilities) will consult on an implementation plan for the Clean Export Premium (CEP) tariff, which will consists of a guaranteed export tariff support for new installations that is fixed for 15 years.