Up until very early this year people interested in renewables were able to access information and advice from the SEAI renewable energy office. The government keeps banging on about how much they are ‘behind renewables’ and ‘all for sustainability’; the truth is we are further from renewables than ever before. The ESB has ceased their introductory offer of 19c per kWh exported and much to the surprise of the SEAI and everyone in the industry, nothing has been put in place to replace it and foster this fragile industry that is in its infancy in this country. This is not really the fault of the ESB as they should never have been expected to be the ONLY supply company offering that progressive FIT.
It has only been possible to easily make a connection and export to the national grid for three and a half years; in the UK they have had that necessary legislation for 28 years and consequently the industry there has flourished and is healthier and bigger than ever, much to the benefit of both the environment and to the thousands now employed in the sector.
The ‘renewables’ the government are interested in seem to be the bigger wind farms and every time planning is granted for these the government (read taxpayer) has to dig deep into their pockets and come up with the lolly to bring the national grid to the windfarm, millions spent on pylons and ‘grid augmentation’. Compare this to the small homepower producer; they already have the power lines into their houses capable of carrying up to 13kW. If they want to invest in a small 6-11kW renewable generator, wind, hydro or whatever, it costs the government nothing as the infrastructure is already in place. They would likely be exporting enough for their immediate neighbors, with no transmission losses and since it would have been their money not yours they invested they are supporting the industry in addition to reducing or eliminating their bills.
‘SEAI regrets to announce that, due to budgetary constraints, SEAI’s Renewable Energy Information Office will close on January 27th 2012.’
A couple more jobs bite the dust and now we have nowhere to turn that has up to date information about one of the potentially biggest sources of employment in the future of this rapidly sinking country, shame on us all.
“As we recover from this recession, the transition to clean energy has the potential to grow our economy and create millions of jobs – but only if we accelerate that transition. Only if we seize the moment” – President Barack Obama
Yea, seize the moment Fine Gael!
Somehow I dont think anyone is listening.
PS We at KRE would be glad to help anyone with information on renewables in any way we can. firstname.lastname@example.org