Ireland can add 3.7 GW of solar in 2017-2030 with policy support
Rooftop solar system. Author: Centre for Alternative Technology. License: Creative Commons. Attribution 2.0 Generic
Under a central scenario by KPMG, Ireland can install about 3,700 MW of solar power capacity in the 2017-2030 period, assuming that the government introduces a policy support mechanism from 2017.
The global accountancy firm estimates that Ireland needs about EUR 670 million (USD 710.1m) in policy support between 2017 and 2030 in order to develop a “thriving” solar power sector. That amount is equivalent to a 1% increase in domestic retail electricity prices.
KPMG calculates that for each EUR 1 of support for solar, the industry in Ireland will deliver EUR 3 of Gross Value Added to the economy over the period under review.
Ireland has a 40% renewable energy target for 2020. Currently, wind power is the main green energy source for the country, but wind cannot do it alone. The government has recognised the need to use other technologies in order to meet the renewable energy ambitions for 2020 and 2030. Solar photovoltaics (PV) have been identified as a technology which “may play a critical role in diversifying the renewable generation portfolio consistent with a technically feasible, cost effective and fair contribution to overall EU ambitions,” says a report by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.
In its analysis for the Irish Solar Energy Association, KPMG says a support structure similar to generation-based feed-in tariff (FITs) schemes in other countries would be suitable for domestic and commercial solar rooftop installations in Ireland. For large scale ground-mounted projects, the Contract for Difference (CfD) mechanism is seen as the best way of ensuring value for money.
The “A Brighter Future. The Potential Benefits of Solar PV in Ireland” report is available here.