Solar power can now power one in five homes on sunny days – Business Plus

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Sunny days now bring an extra benefit, as electricity for one in every five homes can now come from solar power, according to ESB Networks, writes Sarah Slater.

One GigaWatt (GW) of solar power is now being created for the country’s electricity grid, which is enough to power the equivalent of approximately 400,000 homes – when it’s sunny.

For context, peak electricity demand is approximately 5.5GW.

This figure includes 500MW of utility scale solar connections, 369MW of which is from larger projects connected to the transmission system, managed by EirGrid.

It also includes 300MW of microgeneration, which is mainly from rooftop solar panels on people’s homes, and 200MW of non-exporting solar generation.

Environment Minister Eamon Ryan explained that what he terms the “rooftop revolution” has seen solar panels becoming more widespread across every town and suburb of the country, “providing clean, indigenous electricity on over 82,000 homes”.

He added: “This rapid scale-up in micro and small-scale generation has been mirrored in the rapid growth in the connection of utility-scale solar farms.

“Since I launched the first solar farm in Co. Wicklow in May 2 022, there has been a major acceleration in the deployment of solar farms, providing new income streams to farmers, supporting jobs and benefiting communities.

“This announcement marks an important milestone in Ireland’s journey to 8GW of solar connections by 2030 and shows that even in ‘cloudy Ireland’ we can harness our homegrown green resources.”

One GigaWatt (GW) of solar power is now being created for the country’s electricity grid, which is enough to power the equivalent of approximately 400,000 homes – when it’s sunny. (Pic: Getty Images)

ESB Networks boss Nicholas Tarrant said enabling the connection of 1,000MW of clean solar power onto Ireland’s electricity network was a “significant collective achievement for ESB ­Networks, our solar industry partners, and indeed the 82,000-strong cohort of microgeneration customers across Ireland”.

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