Ireland Launches Solar For Schools Program

Government’s Climate Action Fund To Enable Schools To Reduce Energy Costs Through Solar

Ireland Launches Solar For Schools Program

Irish schools are being encouraged by the government to go solar with free PV systems and monitoring software. (Illustrative Photo; Photo Credit: Attasit saentep/Shutterstock.com)

  • Ireland’s Solar for Schools Programme has launched phase I to award funding for schools to install PV 
  • They will be able to install a 6 kW system to help them bring down energy cost 
  • A monitoring software will also be provided to enable staff and students to discuss solar energy generation in their schools 

Ireland has launched phase I of the Solar for Schools Programme in the country under which it will support eligible schools to install 6 kW of rooftop PV. It is part of the government’s overarching ambition to meet the 2030 and 2050 Climate Action Plan. 

The Minister for Education Norma Foley said the initiative will enable up to 4,000 schools across the country to get solar PV panels to reduce their energy bills and carbon emissions. Funding will be made available from the government’s Climate Action Fund. 

Under the scheme, schools will receive a 6 kW solar system with around 16 solar panels. These will be grid-connected to supply power to other homes and businesses when the schools are shut during weekends and holidays to earn additional income. 

A beneficiary school can end up saving around €1,200 to €1,600 ($1,308 to $1,744)/annum on their power bills, according to government estimates. 

Under phase I of the program, more than 1,600 schools from 11 designated areas have been called to submit their applications. It will be expanded to 8 other counties under phase II in Q2/2024 and remaining 8 counties in Q4/2024 with the learnings accumulated from phase I. 

It is intended that all eligible schools across the country will have the opportunity to apply to the scheme by end 2024,” according to the administration. 

Exact budget for the scheme has not been released since it is commercially sensitive, to ensure contractors deliver competitive quotes rather than basing them on the average funding available per school. 

Schools will also be provided with monitoring software for them to review and discuss the energy generated each day for staff and students. 

According to the government, this visibility of solar panels on schools will encourage discussion and uptake of the technology in the wider community, thereby encouraging public acceptance of solar energy. 

Applications are being accepted under phase I from November 30, 2023 with March 15, 2024 being the deadline for schools to submit quotations to the Department of Education that’s helping implement the scheme. Schools will be able to register for the program till February 1, 2024. Details are available on the government website

This forms part of Ireland’s efforts to decentralize energy generation through solar energy. In July 2023, it amended the Non-Domestic Microgeneration Scheme to support installations larger than 6 KW to extend its use to a wide range of businesses (see Ireland Expanding Microgeneration PV Scheme). 

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews. Anu is our solar news whirlwind. At TaiyangNews she covers everything that is of importance in the world of solar power. --Email: [email protected]

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