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Every school in Ireland to get free solar panels as part of country’s ‘rooftop revolution’

Deputy Steven Matthews welcomes the announcement of plans to provide free solar photovoltaic (PV) panels for every school as part of the budget measures announced. This scheme will be directly funded by the Department of the Environment’s Climate Action Fund.

Speaking after the announcement, Deputy Matthews said:

“Today's announcement from Minister Eamon Ryan confirms that every school in the country will be funded to install rooftop solar and other forms of solar PV panels. This will be transformative for schools facing the current energy crisis and trying to manage tight budgets.

“I have had the opportunity to meet with school principals across Wicklow and they are hugely concerned about the cost of heating and lighting their schools in the coming years. The investment in solar panels is a tangible measure that will have a direct and positive impact on these costs for schools and they are future-proofed.

“New planning exemptions, fought for by the Green Party have finally removed the onerous red tape and barriers to installing solar panels on schools, farms, homes and public buildings. While this initiative makes sense in the context of the immediate energy crisis, it also helps schools secure energy independence in the long term and plays a part in the Green Party strategy to create an Ireland 100% powered by renewable energy.”

Deputy Matthews continued:

“It makes absolute sense that schools will be at the forefront of Ireland's rooftop revolution. We need to act now to protect our children’s future and ensure our younger generations are educated in climate-neutral energy resources. A school powering its lights and whiteboards for free using the power of the sun will allow for its funds to be used elsewhere.

“We have the potential for lots of solar power in Ireland, but very few solar panels generating electricity. The reason for that has little to do with our weather or perceived lack of sun, and everything to do with policy and red tape. That is about to change, and I can't wait to see this transformation in towns and villages in Wicklow and across the country,” Deputy Matthews concluded.



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