Community Renewable Energy – Public Consultation

Community Renewable Energy – Public Consultation

Green Party TD Marc Ó Cathasaigh says that Waterford homeowners, farmers and communities are now a step closer to being able to sell their extra renewable power to the national grid thanks to the new renewable energy feed-in tariff which is expected to be in place by July. Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan has announced a public consultation process to allow citizens to have their say on the scheme which forms part of the emerging Solar Strategy commitment in the 2020 Programme for Government, follows on from the 2019 Climate Action Plan and contributes towards our delivery of the EU Clean Energy Package.

The scheme will give opportunities to home owners, farmers, businesses, schools, sports organisations and community groups to generate their own renewable electricity (for example through solar panels on their roof) and also sell it into the national grid at a fair price.

Deputy Ó Cathasaigh said: “This is a game-changer for ​both businesses and communities. It will result in ordinary homeowners, businesses and farmers being able to receive payment for any excess renewable electricity they feed into the national grid. Participants will be able to feed in from July with the added benefit of receiving a fair price for any energy they produce. This will encourage more to look at renewable sources of energy which in itself will result in warmer and cleaner homes and businesses with lower fuel bills. In addition, it will encourage participants to increase their renewable investment in their homes and businesses which will increase the amount of renewable energy being produced in the country.”

He continued: “There are clear benefits to the climate with this scheme which will see a significant increase in the use of renewables throughout the country but there will also be a significant benefit to the local and national economy as we see jobs being created within the green economy. We have a significant solar resource here in the South East. ​This means that in Waterford, we will see jobs created for Waterford people in the area of renewable energy. We will see new businesses emerge in the county and we will see Waterford tradespeople upskill to benefit from the extra green business that will come their way.”

“This scheme was part of the 2019 Climate Action Plan and must be in place by the end of June. The public consultation process initiated by Minister Ryan will allow for people to have their say on the scheme so we can ensure that it is as fair as it can be and that it is part of a just transition that leaves no-one behind. There are many opportunities in emerging green economies which will benefit everyone and it is important that we look at all sides of this so everyone can benefit.”