Written answers

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

Alternative Energy Projects

5:00 pm

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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Question 674: To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the position regarding payments or credits to private individuals who supply electricity produced from windmills to the national grid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13953/08]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Minister, Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources; Dublin South, Green Party)
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I am firmly committed to the development of micro-generation in line with the Programme for Government and the Energy Policy White Paper to encourage the development of micro-scale suitable for use in the domestic context.

The vast majority of electricity meters currently installed in domestic houses cannot operate in reverse and are therefore incapable of crediting customers for electricity exported to the electricity network. Currently my Department is working closely with the Commission for Energy Regulation, Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI), ESB Networks, ESB Customer Supply and the independent suppliers to roll out the smart-metering programme which, among other benefits, will be capable of measuring both electricity imported and consumed by consumers and electricity exported to the grid.

In November last year the CER issued new regulations which now facilitate the connection of micro-generation projects to the electricity grid. Yesterday at the Energy Show in the RDS, I launched a €2m SEI support programme for micro-generation which will see SEI initiate around 50 field trials of different micro-generation technologies this Summer as well as carrying out a number of technical and economic analyses in the sector.

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