Solar growth to benefit Irish economy and climate Report finds solar can substantially benefit customers and reduce emissions

Independent research from international advisory firm, AFRY, finds that increased levels of solar PV (“solar”) will significantly reduce carbon emissions and provide major cost savings. In a high solar scenario, compared to a scenario in which no further solar was connected by 2035, the findings were:

  • Solar would provide an annual saving of €21 per citizen (totalling €106 million)
  • 8% increase of greenhouse gas emissions reduction from renewable electricity

The report, commissioned by the Irish Solar Energy Association (ISEA), reviewed three scenarios with different levels of solar and wind being used to meet the Government’s target of 70% electricity from renewable sources by 2030. The findings point to the value of having a more diverse renewables portfolio; in a scenario with enough solar to power 1.2 million homes the Irish electricity system had lower emissions, benefited consumers, and operated more efficiently.

The driver for much of these impacts is that solar produces and sells electricity during daylight when demand and in turn electricity prices are higher. Less efficient fossil fuel generation is operational during high demand times leading to high levels of carbon emissions. Displacing this generation can result in higher emissions reduction.

The economic savings arise from the reduction in emissions and support costs being greater than the cost of buying the electricity.

ISEA CEO, Conall Bolger, commented: “The very fact that solar produces during the day is the source of these benefits. Maximising our solar resource in the near term will more efficiently decarbonise our economy and provide Irish citizens with an economic gain.

This solar bounty can be ours if our energy policy recognises the hidden value of solar. A good first step would be keeping a solar pot in this year’s RESS auction, rather than forcing wind and solar to compete, resulting in our comparing apples with oranges. As this report shows, the auction price doesn’t tell the full story.”

To read the full report, please click here. All images from the report should be credited to AFRY Management Consulting or marked with COPYRIGHT ÅF PÖYRY AB.

You can access the full report and images of solar projects below. Images are copyright Elgin Energy of UK solar projects with permission for editorial use.

About the Irish Solar Energy Association (ISEA)

Delivering a Brighter Sustainable Future for Ireland

ISEA is the leading voice for the Irish solar industry. The association works to advance a policy and regulatory landscape promoting solar PV as a leading technology that can assist in the decarbonisation of Ireland’s electricity system and contribute to a successful and resilient clean economy. ISEA is committed to delivering 5 gigawatts (GW) of solar PV in the next ten years. ISEA has a membership of 108 businesses currently active in the Irish solar market.

About AFRY Management Consulting

AFRY Management Consulting provides leading-edge consulting and advisory services covering the whole value chain in energy, forest and bio-based industries. Our energy practice is the leading provider of strategic, commercial, regulatory and policy advice to European energy markets. Our energy team of over 250 specialists offers unparalleled expertise in the rapidly changing energy markets across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the Americas.

For press enquiries and interview requests, please contact:

Conall Bolger, CEO, ISEA +353 (0) 86 465 0077