The Irish Government has altered the funding it offers to companies investing in solar. The changes will provide more grants for solar photovoltaic installations across a greater range of businesses. 

The government’s Non-Domestic Microgeneration Scheme changes will mean that projects ranging from a six-kilowatt peak (kWp) to 1,000kWp will be considered for funding. 

The tiered grant system will support businesses “from small local shops to large manufacturing facilities”, according to the government announcement. 

According to the Irish Government, funding offered under the scheme will support 20–30% of investment costs, reducing the payback time to as little as five years.  

“We have removed planning permission requirements to install solar panels, and we’ve reduced the VAT to 0% for the supply and installation of solar panels on homes,” said Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan in a statement

“Our Domestic Solar PV Scheme operated by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland is continuing to power ahead with record levels of applications in 2022 and 2023, resulting in approximately 60,000 homes now being registered as microgenerators,” he added. 

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The scheme will open for applications in mid-July.  

Ireland’s growing renewables industry 

Ireland has set a target of 80% of its electricity coming from renewable sources by 2030. In 2021, 36.4% of the country’s electricity came from renewable sources. Ireland is currently the fourth-lowest renewable generator compared with other EU member states. 

The country also has a target of 5GW of solar capacity by 2025 and 8GW by 2030. 

“I want businesses to see the opportunities renewable energy can provide in reducing costs, reducing carbon and increasing sustainability,” said Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney following the announcement of the extended solar grants. 

“Businesses using renewables are more resilient to price volatility and well-placed as we decarbonise our economy”. 

The Irish solar industry has welcomed the support. “Homes across Ireland have increasingly embraced the benefits of rooftop solar panels. However, businesses have lacked a comparable level of support,” said Irish Solar Energy Association CEO Conall Bolger. 

“A new EU directive will introduce requirements for large buildings to install solar in the years ahead. We welcome that government is showing leadership by offering incentives before this is a requirement,” he added.