‘Imminent’ scheme for farmers to sell renewable electricity to grid welcomed

The imminent introduction of a Microgeneration Support Scheme (MSS) – which will pay for surplus renewable electricity generated and supplied to the grid by homes, farms and business – has been welcomed by the Micro Renewable Energy Federation (MREF).

Commenting this morning (Thursday, January 14) on the launch of a public consultation process on the new MSS, MREF chairman Pat Smith said:

“It is critical that the new MSS is practical and that it makes economic sense for wide sectors of society to adopt microgeneration to both reduce costs from bought-in electricity and to earn some income from selling surplus to the grid.

“For a new scheme to work effectively, there needs to be both grant support and a feed-in tariff for homes and businesses who use a lot of electricity.

For farmers and SMEs who have available roof space and grid access, there needs to be a renewable energy feed-in tariff that makes it economic to export to the grid and payback on the investments made should be five years or less.

Smith also said he welcomes the “positive approach” from ESB Networks which has said there was no reason from a grid perspective to restrict the expansion of microgeneration of renewable power.

On this he said:

“There are technical issues to be addressed to ensure that microgeneration can be easily and cost effectively adopted by as many as possible.

However, it is also important that everyone with microgeneration installed already can benefit from new feed-in tariffs and that these homes and businesses are prioritised for the installation of smart meters to ensure that they can benefit from these tariffs under a new microgeneration support scheme when introduced.

Smith said the Micro-Renewable Energy Federation “would be participating fully in this important consultation” and he encouraged all those committed to climate action and a clean energy future to support microgeneration for the significant difference it will make to Ireland and our Climate Action Plans.

Details of the consultation are available from the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications.