- Ireland has amended its Non-Domestic Microgeneration Scheme to also support installations larger than 6 kW
- It will open up state grants under the scheme to a large number of entities, thus expanding sola’s reach
- Financial support to be offered is expected to bring down payback time to 5 years
Ireland is extending the ambit of its Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) operated Non-Domestic Microgeneration Scheme to bigger solar installations, in an attempt to encourage a wider range of businesses to install solar panels, from small local shops to large manufacturing facilities.
Public buildings, sports clubs and community organizations can also apply for grant support under the new norms.
So far, the scheme backed solar installations up to 6 kW in size. Now the administration is expanding the same for projects from 6 kW to 1 MW capacity.
Funding amount will range from €2,700 to €162,600 per installation to be awarded through tiered grant supports. It is likely to support 20% to 30% of the investment cost, which the government says will bring down payback time to as little as 5 years.
“I want businesses to see the opportunities renewable energy can provide in reducing costs, reducing carbon and increasing sustainability. Businesses using renewables are more resilient to price volatility, and well-placed as we decarbonize our economy,” said the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney.
Funds will be provided through the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS). SEAI will implement the amended scheme on an introductory basis to the end of 2023, post which it will be assessed and subject to the normal budgetary process into 2024/2025. The government estimates the pilot scheme to cost up to €15 million in 2023.
Welcoming the announcement, the CEO of Irish Solar Energy Association (ISEA) Conall Bolger said, “Homes across Ireland have increasingly embraced the benefits of rooftop solar panels, however businesses have lacked a comparable level of support. These new grants will incentivize more businesses to join the solar revolution.”
He also added that the Irish government is working ahead of the time since the European Union (EU) is expected to introduce requirements for large buildings to install solar in the years ahead.
In its recent Scale of Solar report, the ISEA said Ireland’s total installed solar PV capacity exceeds 680 MW, with microgeneration projects contributing 208 MW. By 2023-end, it expects the country to exceed 1 GW capacity (see Ireland’s ‘Scale Of Solar’ Growing).