Key takeaways


he Emerald Isle, known for its sweeping landscapes and whimsical weather, may not spring to mind as a hub for solar energy. However, with a climate crisis pressing at our doors, the country has embarked on a promising journey to harness the sun's power. This journey involves more than just a sprinkling of solar panels across rooftops. It signals a shift in energy consumption habits, a reassessment of traditional power sources, and a keen determination to contribute to global sustainability efforts.

The Current State of Solar in the Country

As a late bloomer in the solar sector, the country has only recently begun exploiting its potential, notwithstanding the reputation for grey skies. Surprisingly, it receives nearly 70% of the solar radiation that the equator does. Drawing from the successful example of Germany with comparable radiation levels, the country’s solar sector looks set for significant growth.

The Value of Solar Power

Climate Impact

Given the penchant for overcast skies, one might question the effectiveness of solar power. However, solar panels harness more than just direct sunlight; they capitalize on daylight. This means that even during cloudy or overcast days, these panels can generate power. With the longest daylight hours clocking up to 16 hours during May and June, solar panels can certainly pull their weight in the energy generation game.

Average Costs

The cost of solar panels in Ireland largely depends on the setup’s size and capacity. On average, a solar setup price ranges from €5,000 to €18,000 before incentives. It's important to note that these figures typically encapsulate not only the cost of the modules themselves but also installation and a two-way meter.

A groundbreaking solar technology breakthrough has been achieved, significantly enhancing efficiency and reducing costs. This innovation promises a greener future by harnessing the sun's power more effectively, marking a pivotal moment in renewable energy advancement.

Payback Period

While the initial cost may seem steep, the payback period for solar panels in Ireland typically spans between 5 and 15 years. Considering the average solar system has a lifespan of 25 years, homeowners stand to not only recoup their initial investment but also profit from their sustainable switch.

Use your own personal savings calculation to shop and compare top providers

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Government Initiatives and Support for Renewable Energy

The Irish government's commitment to fostering the solar industry is evident in the range of initiatives and financial incentives on offer. Let's delve into the specifics of three key initiatives: The Solar Electricity Grant, the Micro-generation Support Scheme (MSS), and the Feed In Tariff Clean Export Guarantee (CEG) Tariff.

Solar Electricity Grant

The Solar Electricity Grant is designed to aid homeowners in installing PV panels, thus enabling the generation of renewable electricity. The grant's value is calculated on a pro-rata basis; for instance, for a 2.5kWp installation, the grant value would amount to €1,950. For PV installations, the grant provides €900 per kWp up to 2kWp, with an additional €300 granted for every kWp up to 4kWp. The total PV grant is capped at €2400, meaning that for 4kWp panels, the maximum grant would be €2400.

Micro-generation Support Scheme (MSS)

The MSS is another initiative aimed at both domestic and non-domestic entities, providing a grant for installing PV equipment. In 2023, domestic applicants can receive capital grants up to a maximum of €2,400, provided their homes were built pre-2021. Non-domestic applicants such as businesses, farms, schools, and community buildings can also apply for a grant for installations up to 6kW at the same grant amounts as domestic customers.

Feed In Tariff Clean Export Guarantee (CEG) Tariff

The CEG Tariff, introduced on February 15, 2022, has revolutionized the IE solar industry. It provides homeowners with payment for any surplus energy they generate and exports back to the grid from their home PV system. This initiative has the potential to make a homeowner with solar have 21% better payback due to the feed in tariffs they receive. These tariffs, paid by different energy suppliers, vary, with rates for 2023 ranging from 18 cents/kWh (Energia, Bord Gais) to 24 cents/kWh (SSE Airtricity). The Clean Export Guarantee (CEG) Tariff serves as a vital step in making solar energy not only sustainable but also a financially rewarding investment.

Installation Options and Considerations for Solar Panels in Ireland

Determining the Number of Panels Required

The number of solar panels needed for an effective system isn't a one-size-fits-all figure. It varies depending on the size of the property, the household's energy consumption, and the average sunlight the location receives. A rough guideline suggests that a one kWp solar setup requires about 10 square meters of roof space.

Professional Installation vs. DIY Approach

Solar installation isn't a job for the average DIY enthusiast. It demands a level of expertise to ensure the panels are safely installed and optimally positioned for maximum sunlight exposure. A professional installer will also handle the often-complex electrical wiring, connecting your system to your home's electrical grid and the two-way meter.

Researching companies guide

Selecting a reputable solar company is as important as choosing the panels themselves. Look for companies that boast positive customer reviews, a proven track record, and offer comprehensive service packages. This should encompass certified panels, a solid warranty period, and a range of services from consultation to installation and maintenance.

Use your own personal savings calculation to shop and compare top providers

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Major Solar Panel Companies in the Country


Headquartered in Dublin, Solartricity has built a reputation as a trusted provider of photovoltaic equipment. With its roots planted in 2008, the company has grown into a prominent player in the renewable energy sector.

Solartricity's portfolio extends from black-framed panels and PV inverters to hot water setups and battery energy storage for solar systems Ireland. They offer a wide array of solar water heating solutions, showcasing their versatility in handling various styles, from flat plate collectors to roof-mounted collectors.

Serving both residential and commercial sectors, Solartricity has left its mark not only locally but in far-flung regions such as India and the Falkland Islands.

AEI Commercial

Based in Offaly, AEI Commercial holds the distinction of being the country’s longest-established renewable energy specialist. Their commitment to greener energy alternatives is evident in their broad range of services.

From conducting energy surveys to installing commercial PV systems, upgrading LED lighting, and setting up electric car charging points, AEI Commercial’s portfolio covers a spectrum of needs for commercial, agricultural, and industrial clients.

Their expertise extends to PV hot-water systems, high-efficiency condensing boilers, and PV systems, enhancing the comfort of homes while trimming down energy bills.

Clean Energy

Hailing from Cork, Clean Energy Ireland is a go-to for renewable energy installations, offering services that span the installation of photovoltaic panels to airtightness and sound testing.

With a team of skilled professionals, they cater to a broad clientele base, from homeowners to businesses. Their services don't just stop at installation. They also offer preventive maintenance and guarantee packages, giving customers peace of mind about their renewable energy investments.

Whether it's fitting solar panels, heaters, or ventilation systems, this company stands ready to contribute to the transition to cleaner, renewable energy sources.

Future Prospects and Trends in the Solar Industry

Solar Energy Systems Market Size, Share Report, 2022 - 2030
Solar Energy Systems Market Size, Share Report, 2022 - 2030


Increasing Adoption and Potential Barriers

While the adoption of solar power is on the rise, barriers to its widespread use persist. These include the upfront cost and misconceptions about the effectiveness of solar panels in Ireland. Overcoming these barriers involves education, financing options, and clear communication about the benefits of solar power.

Role of Regulatory Support and Incentives

Government support plays a pivotal role in the adoption of solar power. Through grants, tax credits, and feed in tariffs, the government can incentivize homeowners to install solar panels, further driving the growth of solar energy in the area.

The Potential for Solar Power

Looking forward, solar power holds immense potential for the country’s energy future. As it strives to meet its 2030 energy efficiency targets, the incorporation of solar power into the energy mix is a viable solution to reduce carbon emissions and promote a sustainable energy future.

Use your own personal savings calculation to shop and compare top providers

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FAQs about Solar Panel Systems

Q: How can I determine if my property is suitable for solar panel installation?

A: Suitability depends on your roof's orientation, pitch, sunlight exposure, structural integrity, and potential shading obstructions. A solar company can assess these factors through a site inspection or satellite imaging.

Q: What maintenance is required for solar panels, and how often should it be performed?

A: Solar panels require minimal maintenance. Rain typically cleans the panels naturally, but a thorough clean should be performed once or twice a year. A professional inspection every few years is also advisable.

Q: How long does the installation process typically take, from initial consultation to having the solar panels fully operational?

A: The installation process can take from one to three months, including consultation, site inspection, system design, permits, installation, and system testing.

Q: Are there any limitations on the size of solar systems that can be installed in residential properties?

A: Starting with October 2022, the limit to the area of solar panels was removed so solar installations can cover the entire roof of a house.

Final Thoughts

Solar power, despite the country's reputation for rain and clouds, is more than a feasible option; it's a sustainable investment. Through effective use of sunlight, supportive government policies, and a variety of installation options, the adoption of solar power presents a bright and sustainable future for energy in Ireland.


Key takeaways

  • Solar Potential: Despite its cloudy reputation, Ireland receives about 70% of the solar radiation that the equator does, indicating significant solar potential.
  • Costs: Solar panel setups in Ireland can range from €5,000 to €18,000 before incentives, with a payback period of 5 to 15 years.
  • Government Support: The Irish government offers various initiatives and incentives to promote solar energy, including the Solar Electricity Grant, Micro-generation Support Scheme, and Feed In Tariff Clean Export Guarantee (CEG) Tariff.
  • Installation Considerations: Factors such as roof orientation, pitch, sunlight exposure, and potential shading should be considered when installing solar panels.
  • Major Solar Companies: Companies like Solartricity, AEI Commercial, and Clean Energy Ireland offer a range of solar solutions for residential and commercial needs.
  • Future Trends: Overcoming barriers like upfront costs and misconceptions about solar power effectiveness will be crucial for its future adoption. Government support and incentives will play a significant role in driving solar power growth in the country.
Jul 15, 2023
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