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We must create a level playing field for solar energy in Ireland – Stanley

15 July, 2016 - by Brian Stanley TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Energy and the Environment, Brian Stanley, has said that solar power must be given a level playing field in the energy industry.

Deputy Stanley stated:

“Under the public service obligation, the current projection is that nearly 3,000 MW of renewable energy will receive €335 million in support in 2016-2017 while only 250 MW of fossil fuel will receive €140 million. The fossil fuel industry benefitted from a huge €386 million in subsidies in 2015.

“When one considers these figures, it is €11,000 per megawatt for renewable power and €56,000 per megawatt for fossil fuel, five times as much per megawatt.

“Whilst wind, biomass, anaerobic digestion, hydro and biogas all receive feed tariffs, solar does not. Solar is the only established renewable technology to not benefit. As a result, the solar energy industry is practically non-existent.

“It is a technology that is most suited to community and local participation with small ownership by local individual farmers or co-operatives.

“Compare the situation in Ireland to that which exists in Germany where 1.5 million German people generate solar energy from their own properties.

“Germany does not receive significantly more sunlight than Ireland and yet they have been able to meet up to 7% of its energy needs through solar power.

“Solar power is an area that has not received enough attention from the Government or the Department in the past and we hope to see this change under the tenure of the new Minister.”  

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