Tuesday, 20 September 2022
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
Renewable Energy Generation
68. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of households and businesses that are generating electricity through microgeneration; if all energy suppliers are now paying microgenerators for the excess electricity that they are exporting to the grid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45786/22]
The underlying principle, and primary advantage of microgeneration is self-consumption of your own electricity. This is how microgeneration can help consumers shield against electricity costs. While there is potential for payment for any excess electricity that you might not use yourself, export is an additional benefit but not the primary driver for engaging in microgeneration.
I understand that to the 9th of September 2022 close to 40,000 microgenerators have successfully registered with ESB Networks for an export grid connection. With an average installation size of circa 3 kW, this gives a total of approximately 120 MW of installed microgeneration capacity on the network.
Of this, the SEAI has also supported the installation of domestic Solar PV systems for 11,581 homes since 2018, which has resulted in an installed capacity of domestic Solar PV of 45.1 MW. Furthermore, demand has increased significantly in 2022 and we expect that the SEAI will support over 8,000 homes in 2022 alone at a cost of €21m. The SEAI will be extending the Solar PV grant scheme to non domestic applicants for installations up to 6kW by the end of September.
The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) published a decision for the Clean Export Guarantee (CEG) tariff which outlines arrangements for implementation of the tariff, including eligibility criteria and remuneration methodology. As part of this, the CRU decided that suppliers will set their individual CEG tariffs on a competitive market basis which must be reflective of the market, or wholesale, value of the electricity, in line with the requirements of Article 21(2)(d) of the recast Renewable Energy Directive.
Most suppliers have now published their CEG tariffs, which range from €13.5c/kWh up to €20c/kWh which allows customers to shop around and switch suppliers to obtain the best rates for selling and purchasing electricity.
The CRU expects all suppliers to put in place measures to make the first payment to customers at the earliest opportunity and had anticipated that some suppliers may be ready to make the first payment by 31st August 2022, with others indicating that payment measures will be in place by the end of November. This recognises that suppliers require time to develop the necessary systems and processes needed to make payments to customers, following the date that export data was first made available to suppliers by ESB Networks. However, regardless of which supplier you have, micro-generators will not lose out while payment systems are put in place as payments to customers will be backdated to when they either became eligible or to the 15th February 2022.