Two days, seven themes, over 30 inspiring presentations
The team are currently in the process of securing the leading industry stakeholders to present at Solar Ireland 2017. The presentations will be grouped into seven key themes which collectively provide complete coverage of the Irish solar industry. If you are interested in speaking, please contact Jackie Cannon Event Director, firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)1923 690200
seven key themes
A recent report published by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), states that Ireland is likely to fall short of its renewable energy target by a full 2.5% by the end of 2020, potentially attracting high fines from the EU. Despite Ireland being the last EU Member State to provide policy support to solar, this late mover advantage means that Ireland can bridge this gap with solar in a most cost-efficient manner. Solar is the cheapest form of renewable energy generation after onshore wind and the only technology that can bridge this gap in 2020 renewable energy targets in the remaining timeframe. The new support mechanism for renewable energy in Ireland (RESS) is expected in August, followed by a final consultation. It is expected that this process will be completed and that a comprehensive support mechanism will be presented to DG Competition in Brussels for State Aid clearance in advance of the conference. This theme will deal with the implementation of the support mechanism and timeframe. It is widely expected that a market driven mechanism will be implemented for large scale ground mount and thus this section will also provide a detail on how to participate in this auction and what to expect. Expect participation from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, leading experts in this space and industry.
A key dial mover for any solar project viability and competitiveness in an auction, is the cost of funds. This section will review the likely source of funds and the costs of those funds in Ireland for solar projects. Debt and equity providers will participate in this discussion along with developers and other non-conventional funding providers. Establishing the likely sources of funding and funding structures will be a key component of the success of the Irish market.
There has been mush debate on renewable energy and planning issues in recent months in Ireland. In the last few months both the ISEA and SEAI have published documents on Best Practice and Planning for Solar and Planning Recommendations for large scale solar. According to a recent ERSI report, public support for solar is the highest amongst any other form of electricity generation in Ireland. However, the industry needs to build on this public support and ensure that best practice is adopted in the planning solar schemes. Hear about the planning issues identified by Irish developers and how this have been successfully mitigated. What are the likely issues going forward and how these are being addressed by industry and stake holders.
The Green and White Papers on Energy Policy in Ireland make consistent and strong reference to Community Benefit and Community Ownership. ISEA has been particularly pro-active is seeking to propose to government workable solutions to these two elements of community participation in solar projects in Ireland. These proposals will be presented and a detailed explanation of how they can be implemented and benefit from expected enhance support. There will be participation from Government, industry and community groups in this section.
A recent report issued by Eirgrid has revised up-wards significantly the amount of solar capacity on the distribution and transmission network that could be deployed between now and 2020 and 2030. Grid connection is a key area for discussion in accommodating the efficient deployment of renewable energy in Ireland. The new enduring regime for grid connection of renewable energy projects is expected to be under consultation by November and therefore it will form a major part of this theme. We will seek to expand on the various issues associated with the transition from the non-GPA process to the new gate process for solar applications to connect to the grid and how transitional arrangements will work. The ISEA Working Group on Grid have been actively working on the grid code compliance and planning for the last year. This is ongoing work and the members of this group will be sharing their views of the likely changes going forward. Speakers from both the TSO and DSO are expected to participate along with various industry representatives.
The largest number of jobs in the solar sector in Ireland are likely to be sustained in roof-top solar. This theme will detail developments in domestic and commercial roof-top areas. SEAI will describe the support mechanism available to roof-top projects of varying sizes. ISEA are seeking to have roof-top solar projects below 500kW exempt from planning requirements. In the absence of national standards, the Industry is seeking to implement its own set of basic standards to ensure a level of quality in the deployment of roof-top solar in Ireland. Finally, a national scheme of training for installers is to be launched in co-operation with Skillnet, ISEA and SEAI.