Households should be paid for their solar energy – report

The Government’s long-awaited move to incentivise the scaling-up of solar energy development in Ireland should not exclude individuals and small businesses who wish to avail of an opportunity to reduce their energy costs by installing rooftop panels.

That is among the recommendations of a report by the climate expert Joseph Curtin published today.

The report was commissioned by Friends of the Earth, which is concerned the incentive scheme due to be announced shortly by Department of the Environment “may not cover micro/rooftop installations, and may not adequately address barriers to citizen participation” in solar panel deployment.

The cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, which generate usable solar power by means of photovoltaics technology and associated electricity storage batteries, has dropped dramatically in recent years. The panels absorb and convert sunlight into electricity with the help of an inverter that changes electrical current so that it can be used domestically or added to the national grid.

The report evaluates solar industry trends in the UK and Germany, and rejects suggestions that domestic rooftop solar energy would be too costly or favour wealthy households.

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