Irish government approves net metering, rebate scheme for solar and renewables


Ireland's Ministry for the Environment, Climate and Communications has approved, this week, the Micro-generation Support Scheme (MSS), a new mechanism aimed at supporting the deployment of power generators based on renewable energy and not exceeding 50 kW in size.

The scheme is intended to deploy around 380 MW of solar capacity.

For PV systems ranging in size from six to 50 kW, the scheme will grant a Clean Export Guarantee (CEG) tariff for surplus power injected into the grid and for 2022, the tariff was set at €0.135/kWh. “The CEP will be offered at a fixed rate for 15 years and eligible volumes will be capped at 80% of generation capacity, to encourage self-consumption,” the government said.

Projects not exceeding 6 kW in size will be offered a maximum rebate of €2,400 by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and will also be given the possibility of selling excess power to the grid.

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“Support under the MSS will gradually reduce over time from 2024, to take account of reducing system costs,” the government further explained.

Eligible projects must have a minimum self-consumption rate of 70%. In order to support this high rate, the Irish government suggested the adoption of smart meters. “Smart meters can measure the profile of demand at the premises and thereby allow micro-generators to maximize their self-consumption,” it highlighted. “Smart meters can also measure the export of micro-generation installations to facilitate access to remuneration for residual electricity exported to the grid.”

The Irish government is currently supporting large scale PV through an auction scheme launched at the end of 2019. In the first procurement exercise – launched in April and finalized in August – the Irish authorities allocated 796 MW of solar generation capacity. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, the country had only 40 MW of installed solar power at the end of 2020.

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