Ireland: Attractive grants for residential solar
Hanwha Q CELLS is primed to meet an anticipated increase in demand for solar and storage solutions in Ireland following the government’s welcome decision to introduce cash grants for homeowners eager to embrace PV.
Renewable Energy support Scheme
Announced in late July, Ireland’s government has backed a new approval under the country’s Renewable Energy Support Scheme (RESS) that will make homeowners who wish to install solar PV systems on their rooftops eligible for generous grants.
The grants will be funded by Ireland’s Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, with national renewable energy body – Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) – responsible for the administration of the scheme.
Maximum plant size of 4 kW
Homeowners who live in properties built and occupied before 2011 can apply to the SEAI for a grant, which is paid at €700 for every kilowatt peak (kW) of solar PV capacity installed, up to a maximum of 4 kW. Should a homeowner opt for a solar array over 2 kW, the scheme states that it must be paired with a battery storage system, for which an additional €1,000 grant is available. Those homeowners interested in receiving these grants must first have their installation completed by a registered installer in Ireland before claiming the cash.
The RESS scheme will release the first set of funds in October this year, and is due to be reviewed at six-month intervals until 2020.
Boosting microgeneration to accelerate Ireland’s clean energy future
The Irish government’s policy of creating a band of residential prosumers will hopefully play a pivotal role in strengthening the nation’s renewable energy future. Although not renowned for its sunny weather, PV has a vital role to play in Ireland’s clean energy landscape, and paired with storage, can be a key ingredient in the electricity mix.
Ireland’s current solar capacity is just 10 MW, mostly across private rooftops – a notable figure given the absence of any feed-in tariff (FIT). The government has revealed that the RESS scheme has already attracted more than 1,700 submissions for grants, which suggests a strong appetite for residential solar in Ireland.
Strong network of Q.Partners in Ireland
To meet this anticipated growth in demand, Hanwha Q CELLS has developed a strong network of Q.PARTNERS in Ireland, developed with local distributor Heat Merchants to ensure that homeowners interested in solar can have their demands, needs and questions met by teams of dedicated professionals.
Hanwha Q CELLS solar modules available in Ireland include the latest in half-cut cell technology – the Q.PEAK DUO-G5 modules, which boast high yields over small surface areas and in low-light conditions: an ideal combination for the rooftop spaces of Ireland. Also planned for introduction into the Irish market is the Q.HOME+ ESS-G1 energy storage system, which is an all-in-one solution that comprises an inverter, battery and energy management system and is available in three sizes – 3.6 kWh, 5.5 kWh, and 8.0 kWh.
Sean Collier, Head of Sales for UK and Ireland Hanwha Q CELLS, said, “Ireland has been consulting for many months now about the introduction of a grant support scheme for solar microgeneration, and we at Hanwha Q CELLS are pleased that such an important policy has now been enacted.
6 GW PV pipeline
“The Irish government’s consultation found that, based on applications for grid connection, Ireland has a PV pipeline of 6 GW – of which over 1 GW would be earmarked for distributed rooftop generation. Hanwha Q CELLS has long earmarked the Irish solar market as one to watch, and we are confident that we can help meet public demand for PV across the country – demand that we expect to rise following the introduction of the RESS.” (HCN)
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