Huawei FusionSolar Day Ireland Challenges & Solutions- Virtual Overview

Next week Huawei FusionSolar will host their first Irish Event. Huawei Ireland would be delighted to invite you all to attend and we hope you can take something useful from this event

The event will begin with a “Virtual Sites Visit” to key projects North & South of Ireland in 4k footage this promises to be an impressive overview as intro. Starting with a detailed look at 3 of 6 (112MW) key Utility scale projects deployed with Huawei Smart string solution in Northern Ireland. With support & interviews from Lightsource BPBayWa O&M Team & Greencoat Capital LLP. The solar journey will then go South of the Island to have a look at some key commercial projects in Ireland & a domestic home, Featuring projects from EnerpowerPV GenerationEnerglaze, to highlight all sectors to the industry and how all are taking steps to a sustainable solar future for Ireland

Speaking at the event will be ;

John Ging – Head of Operations Development and Compliance at EirGrid
Andrew Cupples – Future Operation Manager NIE
Ioannis Grammatikakis – Inaccess Senior Product Mngr
Hariram Subramanian – Huawei Fusion Solar CTO
Bouke van der Weert – Huawei Solar Solutions Mngr

One of the highlights of the event, will be a deep panel discussion, 6 key stakeholders, on their experiences on the Island previously with Utility Scale PV to bring some insights for the future ;

Jason Turner – Senior Electrical, Engineers Wirsol Energy,
Guy Atherton – Group Leader Engineering, BayWa,
Richard Morris – CEO, Zebotec GmbH,
Mark Evans – COO,Shannon Energies/Obton,
Rory Mullan – Dir, MullanGrid
Hariram Subramnian

The event will focus on the challenges faced previously & the lessons learned for rapid EPC & development of Solar PV in Ireland

For more info click here

Please see short add for the event below;


Look forward to seeing you at Huawei FusionSolar Day Ireland 2020 in a digital way.

Rule restricting number of solar panels is relaxed

Restrictions on the number of rooftop solar panels on houses and other properties are to be lifted to boost the amount of solar energy generated in communities.

New rules will also allow more schools and community buildings to install solar for their own energy needs.

The main outstanding issue is potential glint or glare from any increase in rooftop panels, and ensuring they do not pose a hazard to aircraft.

The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government said it was working with the Department of Climate Action and the Irish Aviation Authority on guidelines.

“It is intended that work on this outstanding issue will be completed in the coming months,” the department said.

The move was prompted by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), which runs the State’s energy efficiency grant schemes.

“SEAI has found through its interactions with homeowners, businesses and actors in the solar industry that rooftop planning requirements are consistently identified as a barrier to uptake,” briefing notes for Climate Action Minister Eamon Ryan said.

Existing rules require planning permission for panels taking up more than 12 square metres, or 50pc of a house roof – whichever is smaller – and 50sqm or 50pc of the roof of a business or light industrial building.

The rules will increase the area that is exempt from planning permission. Despite the current restrictions, interest in installing solar has soared, necessitating a near doubling of the funding for solar panel grants for 2020.

SEAI got 140 applications a month at the start of last year but that rose to more than 300 by November, followed by a surge to 900 in December, when the deadline for the 2019 scheme approached.

Even with the disruption to construction caused by Covid-19 restrictions, there were a further 1,516 applications up to the end of July this year, averaging 216 a month. SEAI said the 2020 allocation of €3.5m had been increased to €6.5m to meet the demand.

The Future is Bright as Solar Surges in the RESS-1 Provisional Auction Results….

ISEA welcomes the provisional results published yesterday for successful solar PV, community and wind projects in the new Irish Government Renewable Electricity Subsidy Scheme (RESS).

This is the first of five RESS auctions to help Ireland meet and deliver its 70% renewable electricity target by 2030, with 63 solar projects totalling over 1,000MWdc (767.3 GWhrs ac) provisionally awarded a contact up to 16.5 years at an unindexed fixed price (€/MWhr). The solar farms will be connected to the grid network over the next couple of years and provide new construction jobs in a number of counties including Meath, Tipperary, Cork, Waterford and Wexford.

ISEA Chairman David Maguire stated ‘After a four year wait for solar farms to participate in Ireland’s renewable energy mix, yesterday’s RESS-1 provisional results were very positive for the solar industry, that will create new green jobs, support rural Ireland and meet 2030 renewable energy targets. ISEA looks forward to working with DCCAE/Eirgrid on the design of future RESS auctions, preferably technology specific that benefits consumers.’

Minister Humphreys announces supports for businesses impacted by COVID-19

Just last week the Minister of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI), Heather Humphreys TD, announced details on the package of supports she has put in place for businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Minister Humphreys said, “I know that this is a worrying time for all businesses in Ireland and I want to assure them that my Department and agencies are working on their behalf to develop and deliver a range of supports to help them through this rapidly evolving situation.

The Minister continued, “I am hearing from many businesses that they are very concerned about their cashflow in the coming weeks. I want to reassure them that there are a number of schemes that can help them meet their short-term working capital and liquidity needs.”


The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation have put a range of supports in place, including:

  • A €200m Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) Working Capital scheme for eligible businesses impacted by COVID-19. Loans of up to €1.5m will be available at reduced rates, with up to the first €500,000 unsecured. Applications can be made through the SBCI website
  • A €200m Package for Enterprise Supports including a Rescue and Restructuring Scheme available through Enterprise Ireland for vulnerable but viable firms that need to restructure or transform their business.
  • The maximum loan available from MicroFinance Ireland will be increased from €25,000 to €50,000 as an immediate measure to specifically deal with exceptional circumstances that micro-enterprises – (sole traders and firms with up to 9 employees) – are facing. Applications can be made through the MFI website or through your local LEO.
  • The Credit Guarantee Scheme will be available to COVID-19 impacted firms through the Pillar Banks. Loans of up to €1m will be available at terms of up to 7 years.


Minister Humphreys also highlighted the following supports for firms experiencing trading difficulties and short-term shocks:

  • The Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection and the Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation will provide a joint First Responder support service through the Intreo Offices and development agencies, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland in each region to provide tailored supports for impacted firms, with objective of avoiding mass lay-offs and buying time for firms to work through the short-term disruptions.

Firms that need to reduce hours or days worked can avail of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Short Term Work Support by contacting their local Intreo Office, see

Irish Solar Energy Association welcomes publication of RESS Terms and Conditions

The Irish Solar Energy Association (ISEA) welcomes the publication of the final terms and conditions for the first auction of the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS). The first auction (RESS-1) is scheduled to take place in July this year in line with timelines set out in 2019 by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) and EirGrid.

RESS marks a historic first in offering Government support to the Irish solar industry. The support scheme will be administered through an auction mechanism. The primary goal of the scheme is to assist the installation of renewable projects in Ireland working towards the 2030 energy target of 70% renewable penetration. Successful renewable projects will be awarded a Government-backed contract for power produced enabling projects to obtain capital to begin installation.

DCCAE held a consultation on the draft RESS-1 terms and conditions in January. In its consultation response, ISEA highlighted the key issues affecting its’ members and the solar industry as; indexation, a limited solar quota, forecast curtailment and negative pricing. The final terms and conditions do not allow for indexation. Without indexation, the auction strike prices will be higher as generators price in their costs, subject to inflation, and debt providers apply conservative assumptions to size debt. These increased costs will be passed through to the PSO levy. In addition, project financers will use conservative assumptions to size their debt. Several additional factors will influence the auction price with the major consideration being grid costs; Ireland has among the highest grid specifications and associated charges in Europe.

“ISEA very much welcomes the measures proposed and the ambition of the Climate Action Plan. We are encouraged that Minister Bruton demonstrated real leadership in Climate Change and is seeking to decarbonise our economy. We are nonetheless disappointed that the terms and conditions in the initial auction for renewable energy may have unintended consequences leading to consumers paying a higher price on the PSO levy. The lack of indexation has an obvious impact on the initial price bid in the auction for wind and solar. Other uncertainties in the auction are likely to lead to a higher price as bidder’s price in uncertainty such as DUOS and TUOS charges, negative pricing, curtailment and local authority rates.” – David Maguire, Chairman ISEA

RESS-1 will afford a 10% allocation for solar projects; this will result in solar comprising circa 2% of the total wind energy currently on the system. In order to successfully diversify the electricity network, technology specific auctions are required. This approach has already been successfully applied in the German market. As of 2019, 1500 megawatts (MW) of solar projects are ready for installation in Ireland.

Globally, solar energy power prices are breaking records and over the past ten years the cost of solar PV has decreased by 80% while the technology has improved. It is imperative that solar PV is fully considered as a viable alternative to wind. A diverse energy mix is the key to decarbonisation and ensuring Ireland has a secure and robust electricity network.

Currently, RESS is the only policy measure in place to support large scale renewable deployment in Ireland. Through its implementation, RESS sends positive signals to industry and will lead to increased investment in Ireland. However, the current proposals for RESS-1 will result in the largest projects receiving support. Future auctions must take place in a timely manner, providing certainty for market participants and support for projects of all sizes.

Veolia help Group Water Scheme launch solar energy project

Polecat Springs Group Water Scheme (GWS), working with Veolia, has become the first Group Water Scheme to use renewable energy to directly power its water treatment plant. Located near Elphin, County Roscommon, the site will be able to reduce energy costs by 70%, and cut carbon emissions, following the launch of a new solar panel project. The photovoltaic (PV) system will directly help the environment by reducing CO2 emissions and enable the local community to benefit from water treatment cost savings.


Polecat Springs GWS supplies water to rural properties covering 80 square kilometres stretching from Elphin Town northwards to Carrick on Shannon and from Ballinameen eastwards to the River Shannon and is operated as a community co-operative. Installation of the new solar panels means electricity, which was previously drawn from the National Grid, will now be used to power the various stages of the water treatment process.


The solar panels were chosen as they provided the best solution due to the location of the site and the amount of electricity required. In addition, there is also the future possibility to integrate battery storage at the site, which has the potential to make the water treatment plant 100% self-sufficient.


Operated under a contract by Veolia, the project has been supported by the Federation Of Group Water Schemes and been backed by a Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland grant covering 50% of the investment. The resultant energy cost savings will enable the project to pay for itself within six years, and the project was installed by Veolia, Clár ICH and Eco Smart.


Joe Higgins, Regional Director, Veolia added: “While developments similar to the one at Polecat Springs have been done at a municipal level, this is the first GWS that is using sustainable energy to power its water treatment plant operations. Veolia is delighted to have been involved in the project and we hope that more water schemes will invest in sustainable energy in the future.”


Eugene Cummins, Chief Executive, Roscommon County Council said: “It is great to see the community around Polecat Springs investing in a more sustainable future that will see significant savings in energy and will contribute in a very positive way to climate change at a local level. This community initiative is an example to all and hopefully other schemes and communities will follow the example set by the Polecat Springs Group Water Scheme”


The Group Water Schemes’ Programme was introduced in 1962 to provide grant aid to rural communities for the construction of water distribution systems from local water sources. Communities set up voluntary co-operative structures known as Group Water Schemes to privately manage these water systems, with operating costs funded through contributions from Group members and Central Government subsidies.



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Public Bodies Meet at SEAI Conference to Accelerate Progress to 2030 Energy Targets

  • Key note speaker, Former President, Mary Robinson, calls on the public sector to show leadership in climate action
  • 800 public representatives gather to progress energy efficiency and carbon reducing targets
  • Public bodies have saved over €1.3 billion on energy spend and avoided 4.6 million tonnes of CO2 emissions since 2009.

800 representatives from public bodies and government departments today attended the fourth annual Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) public sector conference at the Helix in DCU to advance their energy efficiency gains. This year’s conference focused on accelerating leadership in the public sector towards the Government’s energy efficiency and CO2 reduction targets.  The Government’s Climate Action Plan published last year sets out an ambitious vision for the public sector to achieve 50% energy efficiency improvement, 30% CO2 reduction and all public buildings to be B-rated by 2030.


Opening the conference today, William Walsh, CEO of SEAI said:

“We have seen excellent work in the public sector with €1.3 billion in energy savings in the last decade. However, we need to rapidly decarbonise our 350 public bodies and 3,700 schools in the next decade and move away from fossil fuels. This will require unprecedented effort, leadership, resources and collaboration in the sector.”


The keynote address at the conference was given by former President, Mary Robinson, who spoke of the challenges facing our society if we continue with our current energy use.


Attendees at the conference learned about strategic project financing, transitioning to electric fleets and achieving high performance buildings, among other topics.  Evidence from SEAI showed that the winning formula to achieving energy targets is sustained senior management leadership, resources and continuous investment and improvement. Thirty public bodies are already certified to the international standard on energy management, ISO 50001, and are excelling in energy efficiency. While just over half of organisations have achieved, or on track to achieve, their 2020 energy targets, just under half will need to refocus their efforts to get on track.


Concluding, William Walsh said:

“As a nation, we can no longer be complacent about climate action. Our citizens expect that every public organisation will have a workable plan to help decarbonise our society. Only when there’s commitment like this, will we see the change that’s needed.”

NTR signs PPA as part of financing of Swedish Wind Project

NTR has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA), with a European utility as part of its financing of 94 MW of wind projects in Sweden and Finland. The utility will offtake 70% of the power generated over the next 15 years by Trattberget, a 69MW wind project in the portfolio. The power produced by the remaining two projects will continue to avail of existing revenue arrangements. An existing offtake arrangement is in place with an industrial pulp mill for the 10MW Skutskär project in Sweden and the 15 MW Svalskulla wind project avails of the Finnish feed-in-tariff system.

Nord/LB was mandated by NTR to provide €37 million of debt facilities to the portfolio of three projects, which became operational between 2009 and 2014.

Said Manus O’Donnell, Chief Investment Officer of NTR; “This combined portfolio debt and PPA transaction secures attractive and reliable long-term income for our investors from a portfolio of quality wind assets. We are delighted to work with Nord/LB on an important milestone for NTR Renewable Energy Income Fund II.”

Gerard Pieters, Head of Origination Energy Europe Nord/LB Structured Finance, commented; “We are thrilled to have worked with NTR to provide financing for this cross-border and PPA driven portfolio in the Nordics. The innovative financing combines our long history and global top position in renewables, particularly as market leader in PPA driven projects. This marks our latest successful close in a range of PPA driven projects in Europe over the past 12 months, where close co-operation between sponsors, banks, and offtakers is fundamental for long term success.”

DLA Piper and Pexapark provided legal and commercial advice respectively to NTR.

This transaction follows a recent announcement by NTR where a 19 MW Irish wind project has been added to a portfolio of just over 290MW of income generating wind and solar projects across five western Europe countries to its NTR Renewable Energy Income Fund II. This brings assets under management by NTR on behalf of its two funds to 515 MWs of wind and solar projects located throughout Ireland, France, Sweden, Finland and the United Kingdom.

Azuri makes Global Cleantech 100 list for 2020

Azuri Technologies, a leading provider of pay-as-you-go solar home solutions for off-grid Africa, has been named by Cleantech Group in the prestigious 2020 Global Cleantech 100.

Contested by over 8,000 innovators from 80 countries, the Global Cleantech 100 is an annual guide to leading companies in sustainable innovation.

Only the top 100 companies best positioned to solve tomorrow’s clean technology challenges are included.

Azuri CEO, Simon Bransfield-Garth, said: “We are honoured to be again listed in the Global Cleantech 100 and for our life changing off-grid home solar solutions to be showcased on the global stage.”

“Our off-grid solar units offer multiple benefits for African consumers. The technology not only supplies affordable, clean and reliable power, but it also enables users to unlock financial services and an array of efficient goods and services powered by the solar units.”

Azuri has coupled off-grid solar with energy-efficient smart TVs, rechargeable radios, satellite entertainment, internet access and a range of other appliances and services to bring modern digital technology to off-grid households.

Since 2012, the company has sold over 200,000 systems. Through its network of African partners and distributors, Azuri currently employs more than 5,000 people across Africa, but the company is poised for further expansion across sub-Saharan Africa in 2020.

The complete list of 100 companies was revealed on 27 January at the 18th annual Cleantech Forum San Francisco.

To read more about Azuri’s outlook as an innovator, visit Cleantech Group’s market intelligence platform and download the report. []


About Azuri Technologies Ltd.

Azuri Technologies is a leading provider of affordable pay-as-you-go solar home systems to off-grid consumers across Africa. Combining the latest solar innovation and mobile payment technology, Azuri delivers reliable, renewable and distributed power to the millions who have no access to modern powered services. Azuri operates in five key territories; Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania and Uganda with East Africa Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya and West Africa Headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria.

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