The Irish government has given a green light to a significant amendment to the existing Non-Domestic Microgeneration Scheme. This move is set to broaden the scope of solar PV support, catering to a wide array of businesses and non-domestic applicants. In essence, this New Solar Grant for Businesses is a substantial step towards a sustainable energy future.
A Closer Look at the Scheme
The enhanced scheme, administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), provides tiered grant supports for solar PV installations. The covered range spans from 6 kWp to a substantial 1,000 kWp (1 MW) capacity. This expanded range promises to engage various businesses, from small local shops to large manufacturing facilities, public buildings, sports clubs, and community organisations.
To put things into perspective, an installation size of 1,000 kWp is equivalent to approximately 2,500 solar PV panels. This capacity can be accommodated on a large factory or warehouse rooftop.
Funding and Future Prospects
The proposal, put forward jointly by the Minister for the Environment, Climate, and Communications, and the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, will fund the scheme from the allocation for the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS). This will allow for the expansion of existing non-domestic Solar PV supports.
The upgraded scheme will function on an introductory basis until the end of 2023. Following this, it will undergo an assessment and a budgetary review for 2024/2025. SEAI is set to implement the necessary changes and will commence applications under the revised scheme guidelines in mid-July.
A Stepping Stone Towards Decarbonisation
The government officials and ministers have been working relentlessly to devise policy interventions that support businesses in decarbonising their energy usage while cutting down costs. This updated scheme aims to complement the goals of TBESS, offering a solution to manage the impact of high energy prices. Simultaneously, it empowers businesses to reduce their carbon emissions and support the local electricity grid.
The new amendments to the scheme allow for the expansion of grant supports for installation sizes up to 1,000 kWp capacity. This is a significant increase from the previous 6 kWp limit. By making grants available to a broad range of businesses in a pilot programme, it also enables the evaluation of the total demand across the industry for solar PV solutions. This will generate invaluable data regarding potential multi-annual support for SMEs.
Quotes from the Ministers
Eamon Ryan, the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, commented on the initiative:
"This move by the Government shows Ireland’s continued commitment to supporting all of our citizens, businesses, and community organisations – to be part of our journey to a cleaner, cheaper, and renewable energy future. It also shows strong cross-Government commitment to developing innovative solutions that can not only provide support to businesses to manage their energy costs but also empower those businesses to invest in an enduring solution which also reduces their carbon footprint and supports the local electricity grid."
Minister Ryan also highlighted that through strategic changes such as removing planning permission requirements for solar panel installations and reducing VAT to 0% for the supply and installation of solar panels on homes, the Domestic Solar PV Scheme has been able to power ahead with record levels of applications in 2022 and 2023.
Simon Coveney, the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, added:
"I want businesses to see the opportunities renewable energy can provide in reducing costs, reducing carbon and increasing sustainability. Businesses using renewables are more resilient to price volatility, and well-placed as we decarbonise our economy. This measure underlines the Government’s commitment to help businesses save money on their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint as they contribute positively to our national climate change targets."
Updated Grants and Scheme Information
The amended scheme, available to businesses through SEAI from mid-July 2023, will offer the following updated grants:
- Up to 6kWp will remain unchanged up to €2,100, with an additional:
- €300/kWp for each extra kWp installed between 7kWp -20kWp
- €200/kWp for each extra kWp installed between 21kWp- 200kWp
- €150/kWp for each extra kWp installed between 201kWp-1000kWp
This means that installations up to 1MW could be eligible for a grant of up to €162,600.
The Road Ahead for Irish Businesses
The New Solar Grant for Businesses is a significant move towards a sustainable future, providing the necessary boost for businesses to transition towards renewable energy. This not only aids in cost-cutting but also allows businesses to contribute positively towards national climate change targets.
If you're a business owner considering solar panels for your business, now is the perfect time to capitalise on this opportunity. Our company, NuSolas Energy, a solar panels installation company based in Co. Clare, offers both commercial and domestic solar panel services in County Clare, Galway, Tipperary & Limerick. To understand how this can impact your business and to get a free consultation and quote, get in touch with us.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is based on a press release. For full and accurate information, please refer to the original source.