Solar Panels – 2016 predictions

Solar Panels - what's in store for 2016.

Well it's nearly Christmas and 2016 is around the corner.  We thought we would take this opportunity to have a look at what happened in 2015 and what is in store for Ireland and solar panels in the coming year.

2015  and the grant for solar panels

The biggest change that came in in 2015 was the increase in the grants  for solar panels. Long held at €800 per installation this has increased to €1200 per installation - a nice sum taking away about 30% of the cost of installing solar panels for heating water.  Solar panels that produce heat are often talked down because the cost/benefit is not as much as other measures but the reason it is favoured for subsidy is because it is a great bang for the buck when it comes to reducing carbon emissions which essentially will cost us money in the long run - this is never factored into any payback calculation but it should be..

Another influential occurrence came in Paris at COP21.  For the first time all the countries Solar V FIT Coming soonof the world came together and declared their intention to reduce carbon emissions to limit the catastrophic effects that climate with change will bring.  Ireland spoke a good game but the reality was that  Enda and the incumbent government are intent on increasing Ireland's emissions stating that we are a special case.  The result of this will be to expose Ireland to potential fines from the EU which will reach into the billions territory. More needs to be done in the run up to 2020 to reduce our emissions to avoid these penalties - basically more solar panels and other renewable energy technologies like heat pumps need to be installed at the same time as reducing our energy use through greater efficiency - easy as that.

2016 Predictions

The biggest impact in 2016 will come when a decision is made on the Feed in Tariff for microgeneration.  This is where electricity produced by solar panels and other renewable energies is exported to the grid and the owner of the solar panels gets paid for this.  The official line at the moment is that no decision has been made however there are many companies who have been laying the ground work in 2015 on the basis that this will happen - encouraging.

This will affect solar pv panels for electricity generation only and not solar thermal for providing heat.  There will be another mechanism for payment for that technology, whether it comes in 2016 is unclear.

Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year from Glenergy!

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