The Green Party have described today’s announcement of a rooftop solar scheme as a disappointment.
Speaking in response to the publication of the plan, Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan TD said: “While we welcome the fact that there is finally some support for rooftop solar, we are disappointed that what is proposed is not part of a fundamental shift to widespread solar generation. It will not lead to any increase in the quantity of solar electricity on the grid.
“The support being offered is a grant, instead of guaranteeing a right to sell surplus electricity back to the grid at a fixed price. Any electricity put into the grid will not be paid for. The result is that the scheme suggests that surplus electricity should be diverted to water heating. This is a low value use of electricity and in fact any house with a solar hot water panel already has enough hot water for the entire summer.
“Worse still, the grant scheme is only for owner-occupied dwellings, not commercial rooftops. Although warehouses and factories can be very large, rooftop solar is generally too small a scale to go through the bureaucracy of the auction and grid connection system in the recently released Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).
Green Party Spokesperson on Climate Change, Councillor David Healy, said: “Solar photovoltaic (PV) is ideally suited to large rooftops, as no extra land is needed and the electricity connection is already in place. We'll need plenty of PV panels on the ground, but it is ridiculous that this policy means they will not be put on all suitable rooftops.”
“As we argued in our submission to the RESS we should be offering a feed in tariff for roof-mounted/building mounted PV.”
A copy of the Green Party’s submission to the RESS Consultation can be found here.