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All schools to get funding for solar panels to fight rising cost of energy

The strategy is part of a climate focused shift in the school Summer Works Scheme.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

ALL SCHOOLS ARE to be eligible for funding for solar panels to help with the rising cost of energy, The Journal has learned. 

The proposal is currently being finalised with details set to be announced at a later date.

It is expected that funding for the scheme will come from the Department of the Environment’s Climate Action and will be distributed through the Summer Works Scheme for schools.

It comes as the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, has announced new Government supports of up to €2,400 for the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels for businesses, public organisations and community groups.

Solar PV (photovoltaic) panels convert energy from the sun into electricity, thereby reducing the amount of electricity a building draws from the national grid and, thus, the Government claims, lowers electricity bills.

A department press release said that at the current high electricity prices, a business might expect to save up to €3,000 per annum from a solar PV system supported under this scheme.

It is the latest measure in the Government’s Micro-generation Support Scheme.

The first phase of the scheme was launched in December 2021, offering grants for solar PV panels on domestic houses. In 2022 the maximum grant available is €2,400 and it will remain at this level for 2023.

Ryan said that this is the new support scheme is part of a wider roll-out of initiatives to make the installation of solar easier and more cost effective for homeowners, businesses and public bodies. 

“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 to help reduce our emissions,” he said. 

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

Declan Meally – Director of Business: Public Sector and Transport with SEAI said the scheme was needed at a time of rising costs. 

These new grants for solar PV will help businesses and organisations to take control of energy costs now, and ensure that they are future-proofed with renewable electricity supply from their own roofs,” he said. 

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 6kWp (approximately 16 solar panels over 25m2). 

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