- Ireland is seeking consultation on the MSS scheme through which it wants to encourage use of microgeneration energy sources by its denizens
- System installations of up to 50 kW in the space of microgeneration from solar PV, wind, renewable CHP and hydro power will be allowed
- Mainly these will generate clean energy for self-consumption, but excess will be allowed to be fed into the grid for which they will be remunerated
The Irish government is mulling a new scheme to encourage adoption of renewable energy sources by individuals and communities calling it the Microgeneration Support Scheme (MSS). The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) has sought consultation from all stakeholders to the draft issued which could come into effect as early as July 2021.
This framework forms part of the emerging Solar Strategy commitment in the 2020 Programme for government while also contributing to the delivery of its EU Clean Energy Package.
The scheme envisages allowing individuals, farmers, businesses and community groups to sell renewable energy generated by them to the grid. It defines microgeneration as microgeneration technologies including micro-solar PV, micro-hydro, micro-wind, and micro-renewable CHP with a maximum output of 50 kW. These need to be installed for self-consumption of power generated, choosing to sell excess generation to the grid.
Such micro-generators must have first met minimum energy efficiency requirements for their properties under Building Energy Ratings (BER), stated the DECC.
Calling the consultation part of a broader movement towards greater citizen involvement in energy policy and to establish the ‘renewables self-consumer’, the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamonn Ryan TD said, “By producing and selling their own electricity citizens, farmers, business owners and community organisations can save on their energy costs and reduce their carbon footprint. I urge interested parties to get involved and have their say.”
The DECC specifically mentions that the government is mindful of the overarching objective to ensure any support scheme is equitable and addresses cost burden sharing, further adding, “Thus the scheme costs must take account of the costs for renewable electricity demonstrated in the recent RESS-I auction in order that the sustainable development of Ireland’s renewable energy resources is achieved.” Ireland held its 1st renewable energy auction (RESS-I) in August 2020 with solar securing a weighted average bid price of €72.92 per MWh, and scoring over onshore wind (see Solar Appears To Be Winning Over Wind In Irish Auction).
DECC also called out to the industry to bring to the market technology options that will minimize and control costs for households and businesses alike.
Interested participants can give their feedback to the policy latest by February 18, 2021. Details of the consultation are available on the government’s website.