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The Irish Government is taking steps to promote the use of solar energy in homes by abolishing the value-added tax (VAT) on the supply and installation of solar panels. The Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has created the plan, which will lead to a cost saving of around €1,000 on the average home’s installation expenses. This move is a part of the Government’s initiative to encourage people to produce their own electricity and make it more affordable.

The new plan will decrease the cost of solar panels on the average home to €5,600 when coupled with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) grant of up to €2,100 for home solar installations. According to the Irish Times, Ryan will outline to Ministers that solar panels will “pay for themselves” in as little as six years after which they could produce “free electricity” for another two decades. At Caldor, we know this could mean more than two decades with the life expectancy of modern panels.

This proposal, which will come before Cabinet this week, builds on previous initiatives such as the move to eliminate planning permission requirements for residential solar panel installation, as well as the implementation of a microgeneration scheme that enables households to sell surplus renewable energy back to the grid.

In other exciting news, The Green Party leader has also proposed installing solar panels on every school in the country in a bid to protect schools from increasing energy costs. This is an incredible announcement that further bolsters the position of solar panels within the sustainable energy industry.

Ryan announced at the Green Party’s annual conference in 2020 that the Government would bring forward the solar power target by five years. By 2025, instead of the previous target of 2030, Ryan hopes to achieve a capacity of 5,000 MW. This is an incredible prospect for Ireland as a nation. As Minister Ryan aptly put it.

“Sunny afternoons will generate enough solar electricity to power the entire country by 2025.”

This feels like a challenge we want to meet with great fervor and it’s heartening to see the Irish Government’s dedication to sustainable energy.

In summary, the Irish Government’s initiative to promote solar energy usage in homes by eliminating VAT on solar panel installation is a significant step towards making renewable energy more affordable and accessible. The proposal builds on previous moves to encourage residential solar panel installation and the implementation of a microgeneration scheme. The exciting proposal to install solar panels on every school in the country also underlines Ireland’s commitment to a sustainable energy future. Ireland is well on its way to becoming a global leader in renewable energy.

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