CHANGE IS COMING
A recent report from the World Economic Forum (Fostering Effective Energy Transition 2019 edition), put Ireland 12th in renewable energy transition readiness. It doesn’t sound too bad but it’s no improvement from 2018 and The Climate Change Advisory Council believes that Ireland cannot meet targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. So, as a nation we are currently performing quite poorly, but it seems a change is coming!
On March 15th, 11,000 school students walked out of school and marched on Dail Eireann in Dublin to protest at the government’s lack of action on climate change. They were inspired by 16 year old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.
In May Ireland declared a state of climate and biodiversity emergency. Thunberg’s reaction:
“Great news from Ireland!! Who is next?
And remember: #ClimateEmergency means leaving fossil fuels in the ground”
LEAVE IT IN THE GROUND
The Governments Climate Change Action Plan, of which a draft has been released, contains 200 actions to help try to meet our climate change targets.
In the area of renewable energies, it states that 70% of all electricity will come from renewable sources by 2030. Further, a new scheme will allow homeowners sell solar electricity they produce back to the grid.
Ever since Ted Finch and friends defied energy company, Con Edison, in 1976 by erecting a wind turbine on the roof of a Manhattan Lower East Side tenement that they were inhabiting, channelled the energy back into the grid and watched the electricity meter spin backwards, the radical notion of selling energy to an energy company has been a possibility.
By 1983 it became a reality in the states. 36 years later Ireland is set to catch up.
GAINS & GAINS
With advances in technology for solar PV systems and battery storage, it’s estimated that an average Irish household may save 50 – 80% on home energy bills.
This saving, along with SEAI installation grants of up to €3,800, the potential to sell surplus power to the utilities company in the very near future, and the possibility of charging an electric or hybrid car at home, the return on investment becomes more tangible.
Rising electricity costs mean that becoming self-sufficient in energy and potentially turning a profit is a homeowners dream. In Ireland, contributing to climate change mitigation whilst making financial gains is a looming reality; it’s time to get ready!