Prof Hannah Daly discussed the Government’s announcement to cut the VAT rate on solar PV panels and installation costs on Today with Claire – RTE this morning. Hannah created a short blog expanding on some of the points she made, and some additional points she didn’t manage to get to.
It’s a great change to talk about a tangible and practical solution to climate change, skyrocketing energy bills, and geopolitical uncertainties. Solar power is a crucial solution to these issues. Despite Ireland’s reputation for not having the sunniest weather, solar photovoltaic (PV) technology will play a significant role in Ireland’s energy system, and is causing a seismic shift in disrupting fossil fuel demand worldwide. Globally, solar power is expected to surpass coal within 5 years, according to IEA analysis. In the words words of Mary Robinson, we need to go for clean energy like a moonshot and ditch fossil fuels as quickly as possible.
By installing solar panels, homeowners can generate their own electricity, essentially turning their homes into small power plants. This not only provides free electricity for up to 25-30 years (once the initial cost of installation has been paid back) but also reduces dependence on imported fossil fuels, which are subject to political and economic fluctuations. One of the most compelling aspects of solar power is its ability to provide energy security, at a time where fossil fuel exporting countries hold major power over import-dependent countries.
As Ireland continues to electrify transportation and heating systems with electric vehicles (EVs) and heat pumps, the benefits of solar power will only increase. The electricity generated by solar panels can be used to power not just household appliances, but also EVs and heat pumps, significantly reducing carbon emissions and energy costs.
— MaREI (@MaREIcentre) April 4, 2023