Thursday, 4 November 2021
Ceisteanna - Questions - Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions
Renewable Energy Generation
I thank the Deputy. The programme for Government commits to expanding and incentivising microgeneration and to developing a solar strategy to ensure a greater share of our electricity is generated through solar PV. The pending introduction of a clean export guarantee tariff will represent the first phase of a comprehensive enabling framework for micro and small generators in Ireland, including schools, farms, sports clubs and community buildings. This will allow them to receive remuneration from their electricity supplier for all excess renewable electricity exported to the grid, reflective of the market value of that electricity.
The Commission for Regulation of Utilities, CRU, published a consultation on a draft enabling framework on 1 October which outlined the details for the introduction of the clean export guarantee payment. I understand a decision is expected to be published this month and a compensation regime expected to follow shortly afterwards. My Department is also developing a microgeneration support scheme. I expect a proposal on the supports to be offered for new installations under the scheme will be submitted to Government for approval later this year.
Regarding accessibility, my Department has engaged extensively with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage on the proposed revisions to the exemptions for solar installations under the planning regulations, to reduce barriers to micro and small-scale rooftop solar PV and open up exemptions to new building types, including educational, community and apartment buildings. It is expected the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage will bring forward revised regulations early next year.
Finally, I understand that ESB Networks will shortly begin a trial of an updated and simplified grid connection process for microgenerators in the 12-50 kW range.