The Ins and Outs of Installing Solar Panels in Ireland

Learn about the restrictions and regulations for installing solar panels in Ireland, including planning permission, grid connection, building regulations, and safety standards.

The Ins and Outs of Installing Solar Panels in Ireland

When it comes to renewable energy, solar panels are a popular choice for homeowners in Ireland. With the country's abundance of sunlight, it's no surprise that many people are turning to solar power as a way to reduce their carbon footprint and save on energy costs. However, before jumping into installing solar panels on your roof, it's important to understand the restrictions and regulations that come with it.

The Growth of Solar Panels in Ireland

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of households and businesses installing solar panels in Ireland. According to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), there were over 12,000 installations in 2019 alone, a 40% increase from the previous year.

This growth can be attributed to the decreasing cost of solar panels and the government's support for renewable energy. With the goal of reaching 70% renewable electricity by 2030, the Irish government has implemented various policies and incentives to encourage the adoption of solar panels. This includes the Renewable Energy Support Scheme (RESS) which provides financial support for renewable energy projects, including solar panel installations.

Planning Permission for Solar Panels

One of the first things to consider when installing solar panels in Ireland is whether or not you need planning permission. In most cases, planning permission is not required for domestic installations as long as they meet certain criteria. The criteria for exempted development include:
  • The panels must be installed on a roof or wall that is not visible from the road.
  • The panels must not protrude more than 15cm from the roof or wall surface.
  • The panels must not exceed 12 square meters in total area.
  • The panels must not be installed on a listed building or within a designated architectural conservation area.
If your installation meets these criteria, you can proceed with installing solar panels without seeking planning permission. However, it's always best to check with your local authority to ensure that your installation complies with their specific guidelines.

Grid Connection and Metering

Another important aspect to consider when installing solar panels in Ireland is the grid connection and metering process.

In order to connect your solar panels to the national grid, you will need to apply for a grid connection agreement with your Distribution System Operator (DSO).The DSO will assess your application and determine if your installation meets the technical requirements for grid connection. If approved, you will then need to install a bi-directional meter which allows you to export any excess electricity generated by your solar panels back to the grid. It's important to note that there may be additional costs associated with the grid connection and metering process, so it's best to consult with your chosen solar panel installer for an accurate estimate.

Building Regulations and Safety Standards

When it comes to building regulations and safety standards, solar panel installations in Ireland must comply with the requirements set by the Building Regulations Technical Guidance Document L (TGD L). This document outlines the energy efficiency standards for new buildings and renovations, including the use of renewable energy sources such as solar panels. In addition, all solar panel installations must adhere to the safety standards set by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU). This includes ensuring that all equipment used is certified and installed by a qualified professional.


In conclusion, while there are some restrictions and regulations for installing solar panels in Ireland, they are relatively straightforward and easy to comply with.

With the government's support for renewable energy and the increasing affordability of solar panels, there has never been a better time to make the switch to solar power. By understanding the planning permission process, grid connection and metering requirements, and building regulations and safety standards, you can confidently install solar panels on your property and reap the benefits of clean, renewable energy.

Trisha Eder
Trisha Eder

Award-winning social media enthusiast. Freelance tv guru. Incurable coffee buff. Wannabe zombie junkie. Infuriatingly humble music aficionado.

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