17 May 2022

Offaly farmers angry waiting on scheme payout after installing solar panels

Offaly farmers angry waiting on scheme payout after installing solar panels

Offaly farmers angry waiting on scheme payout after installing solar panels

There is mounting anger among farmers, families and landowners who invested in micro-generation solar panels in the expectation that they would be able to receive a payment for any residual or excess electricity they exported to the national grid. That is according to the Independent TD for Laois Offaly Carol Nolan.

Deputy Nolan said that a number of constituents who have invested heavily in solar panels as a way to contribute toward renewable energy and reduce energy costs were left deeply disappointed after their ESB and energy suppliers informed them that the Micro-generation Support Scheme is still not operational despite being announced by the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, in December 2021.

“There is a deep sense of frustration out there among families who have significant amounts of excess energy that is basically going to waste. It is even more frustrating that this is happening at time when energy prices are reaching completely unsustainable levels,” Deputy Nolan said.

“When Minister Ryan announced the Support Scheme he made it clear that it was an opportunity for community, farming and small commercial customers to take the first steps towards investment in renewable technologies, which can play a role in shaping electricity demand and decarbonising homes and businesses.

“Yet here we are, three months later and there is still no clear indication when the Scheme will become operational.

“I have been informed by some constituents that even though they are exporting a significant amount of energy to the grid, about 35-50kw per day, the grid is just taking that energy for free without any return on the families  investment or contribution toward the increasing cost of living," she added.

“The Minister must provide a clear rationale for the delay and explain to these families, some of whom I know have spent money they found difficult to put together, why the Scheme is still on the departments to-do list,” concluded Deputy Nolan.

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