Incentives for micro-generation will boost rural economy and reduce electricity costs
The Western Development Commission (WDC) has welcomed the Government’s Micro Generation Programme which will offer homes and farms across the Western Region the opportunity to reduce energy costs and earn a guaranteed income of 19 cent per kilowatt hour for excess electricity produced.
Speaking about the announcement, Gillian Buckley WDC CEO said; “This programme represents a strong link with the work of the WDC in the area of renewable energies. The WDC has previously identified the potential of the Western Region’s natural resources of ocean, wind, and wood energy. Renewable energy micro-generation plays an important role in serving the on-site electricity needs of farms, community centres, public facilities and homes in the Western Region.
“We believe that this new opportunity to connect to the ESB grid, the availability of capital grant aid, and the potential to generate income will stimulate significant interest in developing micro-generation technology and indeed renewable energy use throughout the Region”, she added.
Micro-generation is defined as energy production units that have a maximum capacity below 50 kilowatts and include a range of technologies that are perfectly suited to the natural assets of the Western Region such as small wind generators, micro-hydro generators, anaerobic digestors, small-scale electricity generating solar panels, solar water heating, biomass heating and heat pumps.
“The real attraction of micro-generation and renewable energy resources is the opportunity they present to provide the country, which has one of the world’s highest dependencies on imported fossil fuel, with security of energy supply. Other significant benefits include the potential for job creation, a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions through the use of ‘energy efficient’ machinery and the potential for micro-generation technologies to assist on-farm waste management” Ms Buckely said.
Ms Buckley concluded “The announcement of these measures to encourage the on-site generation of electricity in homes and farms is of immense importance to the Western Region and the WDC looks forward to building on these opportunities and to continuing our work in the area of micro-generation in partnership with state and private partners throughout 2009”.