Many farmers in Ireland are unaware that they can get a 60% TAMS grant for both the farm and the farm house, Barry Caslin from Teagasc told the Irish Farmers Journal Renewables Roadshow in Kilkenny, on Tuesday night.

“Even if you are a beef farmer, you can still get the grant.

“If the house is linked to the farm, or even if you own the land at the back of your farmhouse, you can get the TAMS grant for that as well,” Caslin said.

The different types of solar panels and their lifespan, the potential energy savings to be made, the payback period associated with installing a solar PV system and the cost of getting connected to the grid were also among the topics covered on Tuesday night.

Last year, Caslin explained was an important year for solar. Along with the TAMS grant, planning permission requirements for roof-mounted solar panels were removed.

Farmers can now also claim the VAT back on solar panels in agricultural situations and in domestic situations there is no VAT.

Payback period

The payback period for installing a solar PV system on your house or shed is between two and four years.

The grants, along with this “very quick” payback period of between two and four years, have led to a “massive uptake” in solar, according to Caslin.

Over 450 people packed into the function room of the Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny on the night.

The next Renewables Roadshow event takes place in the Errigal Country House Hotel in Cootehill, Co Cavan, next Tuesday 23 April from 6.30pm.