5 Reasons why Solar is HOT in Ireland
By Jane Schaefer and Morgan Pierce
Our most frequently asked question is whether Solar Energy systems work in Ireland. It’s easy to assume Ireland is too far north, and that warm Mediterranean countries are the only benefactors of solar energy systems.
Solar is really effective in Ireland. Here’s 5 reasons why now is the perfect time to install a domestic solar energy system.
#1 Plenty of 'Solar Irradiance'
Solar Irradiance is the energy output received in the form of electromagnetic radiation from the sun. Although it may not seem like it, Ireland receives just as much solar irradiance as do France and Germany Likewise, Ireland only receives 26% less solar irradiance than Spain, which is not a difference considering Spain is much hotter and sunnier.
Ireland also has long summer days, ideal for solar energy generation. Ireland’s days are much longer than in Southern Europe, so what we lack in sun strength, we make up for in long daylight hours.
#2 Solar Panels Work Better in Cooler Climates
In fact, solar PV panels actually work less efficiently in extremely hot weather conditions, such as Spain’s, as too much heat can reduce the efficiency of energy conversion within the panels. When a solar panel is already hot, electrons have more initial energy, so there are less electrons available to excite. When there are less electrons to excite, less energy is released, thereby reducing the total voltage generated.
Ireland is therefore positioned nicely compared to other countries due to its relatively mild climate. Since the temperature rarely gets much warmer than 25 degrees celsius, solar panel production conditions are truly ideal.
#3 SEAI Offers a Grant of up to €3000
SEAI has a grant for homeowner’s who install a solar panel system. An €1800 grant is available for systems up to 2Kwh without a battery. Should your consumption patterns dictate the need for a battery, there is an additional €1200 grant available for up to 4kW of panels and a battery storage system.
In order to be eligible for the grant, you need to have a BER energy performance rating of C or better after the installation of a solar system, and your home must have been built and occupied before 2011.
If you want to avail of the grant, now is the time to claim your grant approval because the grant is expected to be phased out by summer 2021.
#4 Sell your Excess Electricity to the Grid
The SEAI grant is being phased out because starting in 2021, homeowners spilling excess electricity to the grid will receive a rebate from their electricity supplier. Have a read of the Irish Times article covering the announcement ‘Citizens, businesses and community groups to be allowed sell electricity to grid.’
This is a truly exciting time for solar in Ireland because we have a generous allowance from ESB Networks for the size of our domestic solar systems. The UK has a maximum of 16 Amps allowable which limits the size of the domestic solar system, so that very little can be spilled to the grid. In Ireland, we can connect 6 kWp of solar allowing us more opportunity to earn more from the excess electricity we can generate.
#5 Save up to €1200/year on Your Electricity Bill
With a domestic roof top solar system in Ireland, you can save €700-€1200 every year off your electricity bill. As long as you have a suitable roof that is either south, southwest or southeast facing, solar will deliver a respectable return on your investment.
A 10-panel system will produce on average 3000 kWh of electricity every year. For every kilowatt of electricity you produce for yourself, you save on average €.20. That’s already €600 euros in savings and that’s before we add the savings from a night tariff. Plus you’ll get free hot water 8 months of the year when you divert excess electricity to your immersion, rather than spilling to the grid.
There are so many ways to save with solar, contact us today and one of our Solar Advisors will walk you through a solar quote for your home, personalised for your specific consumption needs.