Opening of public consultation for the small-scale production project
The government says a small-scale generation (SSG) scheme in 2023 will allow farmers and other businesses to maximize their participation in the energy transition and provide an easier route to market for community projects.
This will be for renewable power generation technologies with power output greater than 50 kilowatts, but less than typical commercial generators.
Already, a support program for micro-generations (MSS) offers the first phase of support to self-consumers of renewable energies for installations below 50 kW.
It includes a solar PV grant program for domestic customers, and later this year businesses, farms and community buildings can also apply for an MSS grant, to generate up to 5.9 kilowatts.
The subsidy will be similar to that for individuals (up to €2,400).
Non-domestic MSS projects between 6kW and 50kW will be paid by electricity suppliers for exported electricity over 15 years, initially at a rate of €0.135 per kWh. This exported electricity will be capped at 80% of estimated production, in order to encourage self-consumption.
Larger-scale commercial generators can receive support under the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS), which includes a community category dedicated to projects between 0.5 and 5.0 megawatts.
To help inform the design and delivery of the SSG, a public consultation has been opened until September 29, 2022.
SSG will help achieve the 80% renewable electricity target in the 2021 Climate Action Plan, and will be a key tool in reaching the increased target of 5.5 gigawatts of solar power by 2030 , which was announced by the government in the agreement on sectoral policies. emissions caps.
The SSG will also fit into the proposed REPowerEU plan to end reliance on imported fossil fuels from Russia by 2030.
REPowerEU includes mandatory rooftop solar PV for all public/commercial buildings with at least 250 square meters of floor space by 2027, and for all new residential buildings by 2029.
Micro- and small-scale generation can offer domestic, community, agricultural, commercial and industrial customers the opportunity to take the first steps towards investing in renewable technologies, while shaping electricity demand and decarbonizing homes and businesses.
The SSG is likely to meet the needs of farms with high electricity demand, such as pig or poultry farms, and the export of electricity to areas with high local demand, where the electricity grid can meet it.
Meanwhile, the MSS or RESS will also continue to provide income and investment opportunities to farmers.
The SSG also aims to protect consumers from high fossil fuel prices, including customers who are financially vulnerable or at risk of fuel poverty.
For non-domestic SSG applicants, EU state aid rules will apply to grants.
The government recognizes that for SSG to be successful, sufficient availability of grid connections and revised planning regulations will be required. The installation and maintenance of projects must also be facilitated.
Provision is also made in the design of the SSG to alleviate the level of complexity found in the application to the RESS.
The level of the SSG subsidy will be set at a level that incentivizes the adoption of technologies whose revenues or benefits do not outweigh the cost.
The Department of Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) states that all responses and submissions under the SSG public consultation are welcome and will be considered.
Full details are on the DECC website. Submissions can be made by email to: [email protected]