File pic: Solar panels are set to become a common sight
New research has shown the significant potential for Leitrim from the use of rooftop solar panels.
The study by MaREI, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine, based in University College Cork (UCC) found that domestic rooftop solar panels could produce enough electricity to power one in four Irish Homes.
Commissioned by the Irish Solar Energy Association (ISEA), MaREI found that 8,238 homes in Leitrim have roof space and orientation suitable for ten solar panels (3.4KW). It found that if all suitable homes in the county were to avail of this opportunity it would fulfil 22% of the county’s residential electricity demand.
Nationwide there are overall a million homes that could accommodate ten solar panels. This has potential to meet 8% of the country’s renewable targets. In addition it would save the average household €450 per year.
Outlining the findings Paul Deane, Senior Research Fellow in clean energy futures with the MaREI Centre in UCC, said, “Advances in solar technology and reductions in cost now make it a very attractive prospect for any homeowner. We don’t associate Ireland as a sunny country but there is sufficient sunlight shining on our Irish roofs to make a meaningful impact on electricity bills”
“By analysing every rooftop in Ireland for the first time we can reveal the scale of the potential. Putting ten solar panels (3.4KW) on every suitable home in Ireland can reduce 135,000 tonnes of C02 emissions and help Ireland meet 8% of its Renewable Electricity Target. Six solar panels on every suitable home would generate enough electricity to power 22% of homes and reduce emissions by 95,000 tonnes.”
The research also shows that if every home was to maximise the potential of solar panels on every suitable home, it would provide some with savings of over €500 in electricity bills while delivering 19% of our renewable electricity target and producing 36% of all residential demand. Around 24,000 homes have already begun the transition to solar but there is much more potential for Ireland to generate significant amounts of solar energy.
Homeowners can also benefit from a substantial grant from SEAI for installing solar PV. These measures in combination are a great incentive for people to place solar panels on their roof and ensure they are included in Ireland’s decarbonisation journey.
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