The Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU), which determines the policy framework for new connections to the electricity network, has decided that planning permission must be granted to qualify for new connection offers and has also removed the option to relocate grid capacity.
These decisions follow a period of consultation with stakeholders including IFA and have been welcomed by the Association.
Tom Short, IFA Renewables Project Team Chair said, “These changes should bring an end to the speculative practice of developers trading grid connections for several thousands of euros. In many instances, when developers signed agreements with farmers, the farmers received nothing but the potential of future earnings.”
Tom Short has, however, called for greater support from both the CRU and Energy Minister Denis Naughten for farm-scale, farmer-led and community projects. “There are big asks of farming right now regarding climate, and renewables. The solution comes from providing priority grid access and feed-in tariffs for locally produced and consumed renewable energy, which displaces fossil fuels.
“Renewables cannot just be about large scale development projects, which are imposed on local communities,” Tom Short said.