As per the research conducted in Ireland, the solar panels on rooftops of homes and business establishments can significantly contribute to the country’s switch over clean energy.
Climate policy expert Joseph Curtin did the cost-benefit analysis, and the study was commissioned by ‘Friends of the Earth’ (FoE). It is a critical study as the Government’s new support scheme for renewable electricity will be released soon for public opinions.
The study shows that electricity bills can be reduced substantially by allowing the household to generate their own electricity and sell it to the National grid when they have the surplus. In the initial phase, the Government will support 50,000 households and have a fair deal. The report has also recommended the tariffs – a generation tariff of €0.09-0.10 as “the real subsidy” and an export tariff of €0.066.
Another advantage these households powered with solar energy should get is a waiver of their CO2 tax. Ireland is the biggest polluter of CO2 in Europe. And at present every household in Ireland has to pay CO2 tax. Ireland receives much higher solar radiation than most of the areas in the UK. 1m² surface area of solar panels can receive an average of 900 to 1000 kWh of solar energy per annum. This is equivalent to the energy produced by burning 100litres of oil.
‘Friends of the Earth’ further emphasizes that The Taoiseach – Leo Varadkar and the Minister for Environment must keep their promise to support the promotion of solar power for ordinary citizens and not just for the big business. But it is also a fact that in Ireland few economists and big power companies (who don’t want to lose their monopoly in power supply sector) are lobbying and are telling the Government not to pay households for the electricity they generate.