All about Solar

Are solar panels worth it?

Do solar panels work in Ireland?

Which solar panel is best?

Do I need planning permission for solar panels?

What size solar panel system?

What should a domestic solar system generate per day?

Do solar panels pay for themselves?

What are solar PV panels and how do they work?

Solar PV and Battery Storage webinar

Are solar panels worth it?

Yes, in most cases solar panels are worth it. There’s no time like the present when it comes to reducing carbon emissions and saving on hefty electricity bills.
 
Technology and energy prices
 
The technology itself has never been more efficient and the cost of solar panels are still close to historically low levels. Analysts expect costs to trend upwards over the coming decade. This is due to shortages in the raw materials used to manufacture solar panels. Yet, due to the continuous improvement in the economics of solar and the prospect of increasing electricity prices , solar PV makes strong commercial sense in many settings.
 
Predictability
 
Solar PV systems have a reliable output that is predictable to within 2% each year. This means, if designed and installed by an experienced team, you can expect a sustainable return on your investment.
 
Public Policy
 
Public policy complements all the above factors. Grants are available for both homeowners, businesses and farms. With the imminent prospect of a feed-in tariff, now is an opportune time to invest.
Electricity prices for businesses in Ireland

Average electricity price to business in Ireland. Source: SEAI

Do solar panels work in Ireland?

Yes, Solar PV is a proven technology in Ireland.

As long as there’s daylight Solar PV continues to generate electricity. Peak generation occurs in summer months and lowest generation in the winter months. Systems should always be sized with care to optimise for self-consumption. The aim is to generate as much electricity as possible without large amounts spilling to the grid at times of peak generation or low consumption. Battery storage and/or a water diverter often assists in this endeavour. A system tailored for the Irish climate provides attractive payback periods and makes good financial sense.

Solar panels on roof

Where there’s sunlight, there’s power generation

Which solar panel is best?

We often get asked what solar panel is best. The short answer is, the right one for you. At Local Power we pride ourselves on transparency. We offer three technology options.
 
1. ‘Premium’ German-manufactured Solarwatt glass-glass panels.
2. ‘Market Standard Plus’ SolarWatt glass-foil panels.
3. ‘Tier One’ Asian manufactured glass-foil panels.
 
The glass-glass design and thirty-year product and performance guarantee of our Premium tier makes it a superior option.
 
However, depending on investment horizons, budgets, and preferences our two glass-foil panel options are also attractive for many businesses and homeowners. They’re up there with the best glass-foil panels the market has to offer. Panel efficiencies are constantly evolving. We keep a keen eye on our manufacturers continued innovation to ensure you are getting the most futureproof product the market has to offer.

Pat Smith, MD of Local Power ( right), and Pearse McHenry (left), MD of BHC Distribution, meet with  Solarwatt owner Stefan Quandt (centre) of the BMW family.

Do I need planning permission for solar panels?

Planning exclusions are expected to remove the requirement for planning permission soon. Planning restrictions for Solar PV are very limited as it currently stands. In general, you do not need planning permission if the PV panels :
 
  • take up less than 12-square metres on a domestic install
  • take up less than 50 square metres of a commercial premises.
The planning exclusions will be a welcome step in the continued decarbonisation of the Irish economy.

What size solar panel system?

Our team sizes the solar system to suit your needs. Three main factors influence the system size that will be optimal for you or your business:
  1. electricity consumption
  2. available roof space
  3. your budget.
We’ll consider your current electricity consumption profile when designing your system. Solar PV is modular. This means you can add to an installation should your electricity demand increase. For example, if you installed an EV charging solution in the home or workplace.
 
For commercial premises a phased approach is useful. The first phase to maximise displacement of ‘bought-in’ power from the grid and to to optimise for self-consumption. The second phase to add to this system when the feed-in export tariff is introduced.

Examples of systems we’ve designed and installed to suit the needs of our clients

What should a domestic solar system generate?

A domestic Solar PV system sized at about 3kW will generate around 2,600kWh of electricity a year if well-designed, which equates to over 40% of the annual electricity consumption of a typical Irish home. There are a number of factors which can affect this output including hardware chosen, design and location. Our team sizes the solar system to best suit your needs and the potential offered by your home to make it the most cost-effective solution for you.

Do solar panels pay for themselves?

Yes. You can expect a payback time of approximately eight to ten years with an average system. This can vary depending on the system installed and electricity costs, but with our thirty year product and performance warranty, you can rest assured that your panels will continue to earn for you long past their payback date, even after 30 years our glass-glass panels will be operating at 87% efficiency due to an extremely low degradation rate of 0.345% per annum.

What are solar PV panels and how do they work?

Solar PV (photovoltaic) panels generate DC electricity straight from the sun. Solar cells are linked up together within the panel and these cells are made from materials known as semi-conductors, usually silicon wafer, that generate electricity when exposed to light. The panels on the roof are linked together in a group known as an array. The electricity generated by the panels passes through an inverter which converts it from DC current into usable AC current to power your house, store in batteries or be diverted to heat water in your immersion, which is essentially an alternative way to a battery to store surplus energy generated.

Solar PV and Battery Storage Webinar

If you’re considering Solar PV and Battery Storage or just looking to learn more about them, this webinar- featuring our managing director Pat- gives an excellent overview of these technologies for farms and businesses in Ireland.