Ireland introduces planning exemptions for rooftop solar


The Irish Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has announced revisions to planning regulations to allow homeowners to install solar panels on their rooftops without planning permission.

“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 fuelled by renewable energy,” said Minister Darragh O’Brien.

The measures will bring Ireland into line with the EU Solar Rooftops Initiative by making solar rooftop installations shorter and simpler. Under the new rules, homeowners will be allowed to use 100% of their rooftop surfaces for PV systems, from just 50%.

“The new exemptions for educational/community/ religious buildings will also give institutions such as schools greater opportunity to reduce their energy bills,” the minister said. “The new exemptions will provide new financial and climate-related opportunities for farmers, underpinned by available grants.”

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Wall-mounted modules and free-standing solar panels will also be exempt from having to obtain planning permission, subject to a 25-square-meter area limit. 

Ireland supports rooftop PV operating under its net metering scheme, via a rebate program. The scheme is designed to deploy around 380 MW of solar capacity.

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