- Ireland has made it easier for rooftop solar installations to be installed in the country by doing away with the need to secure planning permission
- The measure will be applicable to both residential and non-residential buildings, with some exceptions
- It will enable Ireland to ensure energy security, and also help individuals as well as businesses bring down their energy bills
The Ministry for Housing, Local Government and Heritage in Ireland is targeting up to 380 MW solar capacity by doing away with the need for homes and non-domestic buildings to secure planning permission for rooftop solar panels, as it aims to bring it in line with the EU’s Solar Rooftops Initiative.
The 380 MW capacity is targeted to come from approximately 1 million solar panels of microgeneration capacity to generate over 300 GWh of renewable electricity annually.
Exemption is now available with immediate effect for houses across the country and will also apply to rooftops of industrial buildings, business premises, community and educational buildings, places of worship, health buildings, libraries, certain public utility sites and farms. Restrictions continue to be in place for locations near aviation sites, protected structures and area of architectural conservation.
For a residential rooftop, the solar panels can cover the entire roof, doing away with the previous limit of 12 sqm/50% limit. Buildings for non-domestic use can also put up solar panels on the entire roof, keeping in mind the above restrictions.
The ministry said the new regulations will also support small-scale generation, acting as an enabler for Small-Scale Generation Support Scheme (SSG) due to be available in 2023.
“With these new exemptions we are removing barriers and ensuring that individuals, communities, businesses and farms can generate their own electricity, reduce their own bills and play their part in creating a zero-carbon future fueled by renewable energy,” stated Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien who stressed this comes with the added benefit of increasing the country’s energy security.
The Minister of State for Local Government and Planning, Peter Burke added, “The new exemptions for educational/community/ religious buildings will also give institutions such as schools greater opportunity to reduce their energy bills. The new exemptions will provide new financial and climate-related opportunities for farmers, underpinned by available grants.”
Details of Ireland’s Solar Planning Exemptions are available on the government website.