The Micro Renewable Energy Federation (MREF) has welcomed commitments set out in the new Climate Action Plan 2021, to support the installation of an estimated 260MW of microgeneration

Chairperson of MREF, Pat Smith said: “The ambitious targets and goals set out in the Climate Action Plan are challenging and require urgent and sustained action from the government, if they are to be delivered on.

“The key to delivering and exceeding the targets for microgeneration set out in the new Climate Action Plan, will be to immediately introduce a dedicated, easily accessible and meaningful microgeneration supports that empowers businesses, farms and home to adopt microgeneration technology with positivity and confidence.

“These must include grant supports, an economic feed-in tariff, priority access to the grid for power export and a radical simplification of the processes to secure supports and grid access,” he added.

The MREF has said that an accessible regulatory and support environment was also needed for larger renewable energy projects to encourage much wider adoption by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), larger businesses and the corporate sector.

“These measures need to put in place quickly if the ambitions set out in the new Climate Action Plan are to be realised,” Smith concluded.

Micro-generation Support Scheme

Meanwhile, a proposal on the supports to be offered to farms, homeowners, schools and businesses under the Micro-generation Support Scheme will be submitted to government later this year.

Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan announced in January of this year that the new scheme would allow for people to generate their own electricity, such as from solar panels on their roofs, and receive a “fair price when they sell the excess into the grid”.

Minister Ryan said that under the Climate Action Plan, a microgeneration working group, chaired by his department, is developing an enabling framework for microgeneration, “which tackles existing barriers and establishes suitable supports within relevant market segments”.

Climate Action Plan

Elsewhere in the Climate Action Plan, which was published yesterday (November 4), the government said it will work with the waste sector to contribute 1.6 terewatt hours (TWh) of feedstock (raw materials) from grass silage and slurry for biomethane production, to be injected into the national grid.

This is with the aim of supplying 3% of the national gas demand by the end of the decade.

The capacity and capability for anaerobic digestion will also be increased.

The plan will see the doubling of the supply of biomass as a fossil fuel substitution to generate heat and electricity. This will come from commercial forests planted since the 1980s.

Investment will be made in research to develop a feed additive solution for Ireland’s pasture-based production system.