What’s the story with microgeneration?
Citizens producing energy on a small scale will soon be able to sell it back to the grid
‘Solar panels may be a good option for a business with high electricity needs that operates during the day while the sun is shining.’
Are you part of the microgeneration? Microgeneration is the small-scale generation of locally available renewable energy by citizens, businesses and communities to meet at least some of their own needs. Typically, these renewable energy sources include solar, micro-wind, biomass or combined heat and power (CHP).
The renewable energy source selected will depend on what is available locally and the needs of the user. “For example, solar panels may be a good option for a business with high electricity needs that operates during the day while the sun is shining, while bioenergy may be beneficial for a hotel that has food waste and needs gas for heating a leisure centre,” a spokesperson for the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) explains.
SEAI already provides various support for homeowners, businesses and communities to generate their own energy for electricity and heat. While currently the most efficient way to use this renewable energy is at home or on site, in the future, people and businesses will be able to sell any excess electricity back to the grid. According to the Government’s Climate Action Plan, a support payment for excess electricity generated on site and exported to the grid will be available to all micro-generators by 2021. This means that schools, sports clubs, and small businesses could sell their surplus energy.