An Irish MEP has called on the European Commission to allow farmers to sell excess renewable energy which they generate to national electricity grids.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, Solar PV rechargeable batteries and solar panels are currently included under the Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Schemes (TAMS).

However, Ireland South MEP Sean Kelly explained that under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), TAMS-funded solar-generated power can only be for own-farm use.

“This makes little sense in my view; solar is a clean source of energy but under the current arrangements we basically have little incentive for farmers to utilise all their potential,” Kelly stated.

“The war has changed everything and the EU is rightly looking to both massively increase our domestic supply of renewable energy as well as secure alternative supplies of gas and oil to reduce our dependence on Russia.

“We still have an abundance of untapped potential energy generation in Ireland, we have to look no further than unused rooftops on farmlands, which are primed to create solar energy.

“The small-scale generation of energy by farmers has several benefits; it provides a means of increasing income streams, reduces overall carbon impact of farms, increases renewables mix in the energy mix and reduces impacts of rising energy costs for farmers,” he outlined.

The MEP has previously championed renewable energy communities (RECs) and microgeneration during negotiations for the Renewable Energy Directive (RED).

“I have called on the commission to commit to allowing farmers across Europe to fully maximise their renewable energy generation potential and sell excess to the grid and to amend any regulations that currently prevents this.

“Farmers have long showed their willingness to play their part in decarbonising our energy system, so let’s make sure they can,” Kelly concluded.