The installation of solar panels on domestic properties is exempt from planning permission, up to 12m2 or 50% of your roof space, whichever is the lesser. New rules are coming into force in 2022 to increase this limit to 60m2.
The old rules limiting it to 50% or 12m2 are outdated rules from when only hot water solar panels existed. These are smaller, hence the new rules coming into force.
There are some rules around protected buildings though. You may need to check if you need planning permission if:
Your home is a protected structure
Your home is located in a protected area, for example, an architectural conservation area
There are rules for how close to the edge of your roof solar panels are allowed. Effectively you need to leave a margin around the edge of your roof.
Bottom edge of roof: 50cm space
Top of roof: 25cm space to ridge line
Side edges of roof: 50cm space (where it's the open end of the roof, ie. not adjoining another property)
To adjoining property: no space required. If you are mid terrace / semi detached, you can go right up to the adjoining wall.
The above is assuming the solar panels are on your roof. The rules are slightly different for free-standing panels (i.e. those mounted on a frame on the ground.)
You do not need planning permission for free standing solar panels as long as:
the solar panels are less than 2 metres above ground
the private open space to the rear or side of the house is not reduced to less than 25 square metres
Again the new rule due to come in during 2022 are planning to increase the current size limit from 12m2 to 60m2.
As always please do check planning permission yourself. We are not planning experts and there'll be other cases we don't know about. You can find out more information here:
Domestic Solar Installations - what solar panels cost in Ireland & what you'll save, both in euros and CO2 footprint Read more...
From 15th Feb 2022, you can sell your excess solar electricity back to the grid and get paid for every unit. They call this the Clean Export Guarantee (CEG) tariff. Read more...
A step-by-step guide to solar grants. How much are they, how to apply, planning permission, etc. Read more...