Government to have solar panels put on every school under new plans

Ministers discussed a proposal to put photovoltaic panels on all schools throughout the country in a bid to help protect schools against rising energy prices into the future.
Government to have solar panels put on every school under new plans

Kenneth Fox

Every school in the country will have solar panels put on it, under plans discussed by Cabinet this week.

Ministers discussed a proposal to put photovoltaic panels on all schools throughout the country in a bid to help protect schools against rising energy prices into the future.

As The Irish Times reports, the proposal is in preparation with more details to be announced at a later date.

It comes as the Department of the Environment launched a new scheme offering supports of up to €2,400 for the installation of solar PV panels for businesses, public organisations and community groups.

The scheme will be administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

In a statement, Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan said a business could expect to save up to €3,000 a year from a solar PV system, off its electricity bill.

“With these grants, more businesses, organisations and community groups can start to take greater control of their energy costs by harnessing the power of the sun – providing for their own needs first, with the additional bonus of getting paid for excess energy that they might produce.

"With upcoming changes to planning exemptions, simpler grid application routes, export payment announcements, and capital supports from SEAI, it’s an ideal time for anybody to consider going solar to save money and help reduce our emissions.”

Mr Ryan said the new scheme was part of a wider roll-out of initiatives to make the installation of solar panels easier and more cost-effective for homeowners, businesses and public bodies – labelling it “Ireland’s rooftop revolution”.

The scheme will provide grant funding up to a maximum of €2,400 towards the installation of solar PV technology up to a maximum of about 16 solar panels over a roof area of 25sq m.

Declan Meally, a senior official with the SEAI, said energy prices were “at an all-time high right now, due to war and conflict outside our control”.

Speaking about the initiative, Ronnie Delaney, chief executive of professional engineering and services company, Obelisk said: “We welcome this recent announcement by the Government to support organisations in their drive to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and move towards more renewable sources of energy.

"As solutions provider in the renewable sector here in Ireland, we are supportive of these initiatives to help small businesses alleviate the challenges posed by the increased cost of energy."

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