Sir, – Julian Ross (Letters, April 30) tells us that the expert advice he received was that he could not justify an investment in a home solar PV system unless he had an electric car and a “feed-in” tariff for excess electricity production equivalent to the retail price of the incoming units.

I decided three years ago to install photovoltaic solar panels in my house. I have 14 panels on a south-facing roof, which generate 4,200 units of electricity per year, the vast majority of which powers my domestic needs, while returning a small surplus to the grid.

I have 4.8 KW of battery storage in the system, to minimize this surplus. My decision was based on a desire to go as far as possible towards renewable energies, rather than on an economic analysis.

When I spent €8,300 (net of subsidies) on my system, I thought I could recoup the investment in maybe 12 years. With electricity prices rising since then, this is now approaching eight years, after which any additional electricity is effectively free. At a time when a deposit pays no interest, this investment has become, in retrospect, a “no-brainer”. In addition, the satisfaction obtained by watching the application on your phone shows you in real time what the sun brings to your home. is incalculable!

By the way, I don’t have an electric car yet, but when I do, I expect to charge it at night, when solar PV is not providing anything.

In short, I managed to exceed the national goal of 70% renewable electricity, eight years before 2030.

Finally, I agree that the “buy back” price should be equivalent to the retail price, provided the installed system includes sufficient battery storage. – Yours, etc.,

David O’Higgins,


Co Dublin.

Dear Sir, Regarding the suggestion to increase the proposed solar feed-in tariff from wholesale to retail tariff, a good reason to keep it at wholesale tariff is that other grid providers have the responsibility to regulate the supply of electricity whether through distributable peaking plants or pumped hydroelectric storage. In order to justify the higher retail rates, the homeowner would need their own home energy storage so that they can feed back into the grid when demand is highest, as opposed to weather conditions. – Yours, etc.,