Ireland could deploy 3.7GW of solar by 2030 claims report

A new report by KPMG for the Irish Solar Energy Association has predicted solar energy could generate around €2bn for the Republic’s economy.

The report, which looks at the potential benefits of solar energy for the Irish economy, predicts around 3.7GW of solar PV could be deployed by 2030, which it will be cost competitive in the Irish market.

It states the costs of solar in Ireland have fell by 80% from 2008 and 2013 and they now estimate a large-scale ground-mounted project will now cost around €150/MWh.

According to the report, the solar industry in Ireland could generate €2bn of Gross Value Added in Ireland between 2017 and 2030, and support 7,300 jobs over the same period.

“In addition to supporting domestic employment, the development of an Irish solar industry will provide important opportunities for Irish workers to up-skill in a rapidly growing international industry,” the report states.

But the report also notes that “very little” solar PV has been deployed in Ireland so far, largely due to the absence of any direct support under the Renewable Energy Feed-In-Tariff.

And it proposes setting up a Feed-In-Tariff scheme for domestic and commercial rooftop installations.

“For large-scale ground-mounted projects, we believe that a Contract for Difference (CfD) is the best way of ensuring value for money due to the revenue certainty it offers for investors.”

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues