Ireland’s Renewables Scheme Enters New Phase for Small-Scale Energy

By Oliver Townsend May 29, 2024
Ireland Launches Second Phase of Small-Scale Renewable Electricity Support Scheme.jpegOrginal image from: https://solarquarter.com/2024/05/29/ireland-launches-second-phase-of-small-scale-renewable-electricity-support-scheme/

Ireland has launched the second phase of its Support for Small-Scale Renewable Electricity (SRESS) scheme, focusing on community and local projects, renewable energy communities (REC), and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) generating and exporting solar or wind energy up to 1 MW. This phase guarantees a feed-in tariff without auctions, offering a premium on market revenue for renewable electricity. The Irish government’s guidelines set REC prices at €150 per MWh for solar projects under 1 MW and €140 per MWh for projects between 1 MW and 6 MW. SMEs receive €130 per MWh for solar projects under 1 MW and €120 per MWh for those between 1 MW and 6 MW. Wind projects have more favorable rates under this new regime.

Benefits of the Second Phase

The higher tariff for RECs acknowledges the additional challenges these projects face, such as planning, grid connection, and financing, emphasizing the government’s preference for community involvement in renewable energy initiatives.

Ireland’s Renewable Energy Transition

The Irish Solar Energy Association commended the SRESS program’s latest phase, recognizing it as an important opportunity for communities, local businesses, and SMEs to lead Ireland’s shift to renewable energy. Conall Bolger, the association’s CEO, stressed the importance of improving grid connections for seamless integration of small-scale generators, calling them the “lifeblood of renewable energy projects.”

Future Phases and Goals

The initial phase of SRESS, launched in 2023, focused on self-consumers generating between 50 kW and 1 MW. A third phase covering all applicant categories is planned for 2026. Ireland aims to source 80% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, demonstrating a commitment to a sustainable energy future.

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