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  • Writer's picturePippa Hackett

Calling on Laois and Offaly to join the solar ‘rooftop revolution'

I joined my Green Party colleagues in introducing the Solar Panel Bill in 2021

I'm calling on communities in my constituency of Laois and Offaly to join the ‘rooftop revolution’ in light of new exemptions from the need for planning permission for solar panels.

The new planning exemptions, expected to be in force from next week, will lift the current restrictions that require planning permission for solar panels over a certain area, with the exception of properties in 43 ‘solar safeguarding zones’ around the country.

This change to solar planning requirements was fought for by the Green Party. It offers a fantastic opportunity for communities, businesses, farms and schools to join the rooftop revolution.

This widespread exemption will help to cut through red tape. I am very conscious of the voluntary nature of many community and sporting organisations who are already hard pressed to manage rising costs. The new changes bring solar projects one step closer by eliminating the need to apply for planning.

We know that electricity prices are high due to the war in Ukraine and generating your own electricity through solar photovoltaic (PV) is a sure way of taking back control.

This change comes in the same week as Government extended the grant for small scale solar to businesses, public organisations and community groups and announced the provision of free solar panels for every school in the country as part of Budget 2023.

Within the solar safeguarding zones, covering about 2% of the country, planning permission will still be required for solar panels as the glint and glare from panels might pose a risk to aircraft.

For more on solar panels and renewable energy please see Home - Sustainable Energy Authority Of Ireland | SEAI


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