Irish Solar Energy Association
27 Nov 2022
Minister committed to 5GW solar by 2025
The Irish Solar Energy Association (ISEA) has welcomed the ambitions for Ireland’s solar industry revealed by Minister Eamon Ryan yesterday evening as he addressed the Green Party Conference in Athlone. Minister Ryan said that by the end of the government’s term in office “Ireland will have installed 5,000MW of capacity”, which is five years earlier than previous 2030 target.
Welcoming the Minister’s comments Conall Bolger, CEO of ISEA said “Solar energy can play a major part of Ireland’s clean energy future. The Minister has presented a challenge, one which the industry is ready to accept.
“Solar potential is evident across numerous vectors. We estimate that 640MW of utility scale solar is currently under construction or energising, 1,534MW is contracted to deliver by 2025, while a further 5,000MW worth of projects hold planning permission. There are record levels of individuals and organisations seeking to participate in the solar revolution; ESB Networks report they are processing 300 applications per week for microgeneration.
“In the industrial and corporate space, there are very promising developments. Last week saw Microsoft announce that it was contracting with 900MW of renewable projects for their electricity output, much of it solar. Subject to the removal of regulatory barriers, we hope to see the emergence of promising business models like: large energy users directly linking their operations to a solar farm (“direct lines”); and solar farms co-located with storage like batteries or wind on one site (“hybrids”).
“It is a stretch target, but it can be done if stakeholders accept that business as usual will not suffice. The solar revolution referenced by the Minister is happening, the question for Ireland is how quickly we can mobilise our delivery capacity, and how big a part we want to play in that revolution.
“2022 has seen many positive developments for Ireland’s solar industry from the first solar farms connecting to the national grid to the introduction of the microgeneration support scheme and the removal of planning barriers for rooftop solar.
“Given the wider context of runaway climate change, and our level of energy insecurity, it is extremely encouraging that Minister Ryan and his government colleagues recognise solar’s potential, want to realise it sooner and are promising to establish the policy framework that will the country achieve this milestone.”
Concluding Bolger said that one of solar greatest assets is the speed at which it can be delivered. “Solar can go from a concept to a constructed clean electricity source within a matter of months. In order to meet these new targets on time and exceed them in the years ahead we need a policy, regulatory and planning framework that is optimised for the rapid deployment of solar. Achieving this will allow Ireland to ensure we maximise our solar potential and reap the decarbonised benefits.”
For Further Information:
Brian Harrison, MKC Communications
Ph: 087 9211841
Photo credit: Neoen Renewables