Do I need planning permission for solar panels?

Do I need planning permission for solar panels?

Considering Solar Panels? We’ve Got You Covered

If the idea of solar panel installation for your farm or commercial space is on your mind, Local Power is here to guide you. With professional installation services and comprehensive grid connection support, we’re committed to maximising your renewable energy investment.

Solar panel integration for businesses and communities

Whether it’s an agricultural, commercial, or community space, Local Power provides an all-inclusive service, from initial surveys to securing grid connection and the final installation.

Our approach includes:

  1. Evaluating your daily electricity consumption and the available power in your vicinity to ensure optimal on-site generation.
  2. Determining the most appropriate location on your premises for our solar PV systems. Be it roofs, gardens, courtyards, or even car parks, we can efficiently set up solar systems without exceeding the planning permission limits.

Understanding solar PV

Solar PV (photovoltaic) systems are prevalent in the realm of solar energy. They translate sunlight into electricity which can either power your premises or be sold back to your utility provider.

On the other hand, solar thermal systems capitalize on the sun’s heat to warm water for household usage or space heating. By cutting down on conventional heating methods, they play a pivotal role in diminishing carbon footprints.

Full turnkey solution

At Local Power, we undertake a holistic examination before solar panel installation:

  • Roof Compatibility: It’s paramount to ensure that your roof can accommodate the panels’ weight and endure all weather variations. Typically, roofs under 15 years are suitable. However, for roofs over 20 years, a professional inspection is advisable.
  • Roof Angle and Direction: While most roofs in Ireland are solar-friendly, it’s essential to evaluate the roof’s angle and orientation. Additionally, to adhere to planning guidelines, panels shouldn’t exceed 0.2 meters above the roof’s gradient.
  • Day-long and Year-round Shading Analysis: Solar panels thrive in direct sunlight. Therefore, obstructions like adjacent buildings, trees, or even the roof’s own slope can impact their efficiency.
  • Roof Modifications: Installing solar panels might necessitate certain alterations to your roof, such as adding supports or adjusting gutters. It’s crucial that these changes align with local council regulations.

Planning permission for solar panels

In October 2022, The Irish Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, has enacted new planning exemptions for the installation of solar panels on rooftops of homes and specific non-domestic buildings. The aim is to bolster Ireland’s solar energy production and address climate change.

Key Points:

The key objective of the new permissions ruling is to align Ireland with the EU’s Solar Rooftops Initiative, simplifying solar installation processes. The target is to install up to 380MW of microgeneration capacity. This could mitigate about 1.4 million tonnes of CO2eq throughout the lifespan of the installations.


  • Encourages individuals, communities, businesses, and farms to produce their own electricity.
  • Helps in cutting down bills and advancing towards a zero-carbon future.
  • Enhances Ireland’s energy security amid current energy strains.
  • Assists Ireland in achieving its Climate Action Plan goals.


  • Homes: No limit on solar panel installations on rooftops. The previous limit of 12sqm/ 50% roof space has been lifted.
  • Other Structures (e.g., industrial, business, agricultural): Solar panels can cover entire roofs without planning permission, but restrictions apply in 43 designated Solar Safeguarding Zones, especially near airports and helipads.
  • New Buildings: New allowances for apartments, educational buildings, health centres, places of worship, libraries, and certain public utility sites.
  • Free-standing and Wall-mounted Panels: Exemptions introduced for houses (up to 25 square metres) and other categories (up to 75 square metres). Wall-mounted installations of 75 square metres are also allowed for industrial and agricultural purposes.


Exemptions are subjected to general conditions, such as a certain distance from the roof edge. Restrictions continue for protected structures and Architectural Conservation Areas.