Solar PV will be the most widely adopted renewable energy technology on farms. Why? Well, it’s simple: it works, it has no VAT, there are good grants in place, investments can avail of accelerated capital allowances, in most cases you don’t need planning permission and there’s a well established supply chain in Ireland. Above all else of course, is that it makes economic sense. Still, for many, this is a new technology, and it will take a while to normalise the use of terms like ‘kilowatt peak,’ ‘inverters,’ MIC,’ etc.

The Irish Farmers Journal Renewables Roadshow, kicking off on 9 April, will explain everything you need to know about solar PV on your farm, business, and home.

The focus of the session will be mostly on using solar PV systems to produce electricity for your own use, but we will also delve into exporting to the grid and getting paid.

The session will cover the economics of solar PV systems, grid connection process including NC6 and NC7, grid limitations, batteries, and other potential uses for surplus electricity such as hot water diverters.

Fundamental to solar PV is grant aid, and we outline the available grants for you under TAMS (up to €90,000 available) and from the SEAI (up to €162,600 available).

While we don’t know the specifics just yet, the new Small-Scale Renewable Electricity Support Scheme will pave the way for small-scale commercial projects, and we’ll give an update on what we know so far.

Case studies

The key part of the event will be case studies that show how to put the theory into action. The case studies are based on real data supplied by the IFA and Bord Gais Energy from Irish farms. They have worked closely with farmers since launching their partnership, and representatives from both will be present to field questions.

Case Study 1 The first case study will look at a typical Irish dairy farm. Over 80% of energy used on a dairy farm is for milk cooling, water heating, and vacuum pumping. In most cases, these are electric, which means solar PV can power them. For this case study, we will be joined by Irish Farmers Journal dairy editor Aidan Brennan to examine the options for solar on this farm, the costs, and returns.

Case Study 2 The second case study will look at a drystock and tillage farm example. Drystock and tillage farms are relatively low users of energy behind the farmgate when compared to other farm sectors. However, that doesn’t mean solar PV doesn’t pay. For this case study, we will be joined by Irish Farmers Journal beef editor Adam Woods, and tillage editor Siobhán Walsh, to consider the economics of solar PV on this farm. There is also much interest around developing export-led solar projects, particularly from farms with lots of roof space. We’ll touch on what you need to know for developing a project like this.

Case Study 3 The final study will explore the options for installing solar PV on your farmhouse and outline the grants available to do so. While TAMS can cover households as well, there are other grants available from the SEAI.

What is being offered by solar farm developers?

The session will also offer advice on the options presented to you as a landowner when approached by a renewable energy developer for a solar farm. We’ll touch on what to look out for and what to know when entering into a lease. With around 40,000 acres expected to be leased for solar panels by 2030, this offers landowners a long-term, high-value rental income. However, there are also other options in the forms of wind turbines, battery storage systems, and anaerobic digestion plant leases, which we will touch on during the night.

Dual opportunity

Barry Caslin of Teagasc will speak at the roadshow.

Teagasc’s bioenergy specialist Barry Caslin (inset) will lead this session on Solar PV. Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, he said embracing rooftop solar PV presents Irish farmers and businesses with a dual opportunity: not only can it significantly reduce energy costs, but it also allows them to contribute to a more sustainable future by harnessing clean, renewable energy sources.

“With advancements in technology and supportive Government policies, investing in rooftop solar is not just an environmentally conscious decision but a financially smart one, paving the way for a brighter, greener future.”

Solar PV: the numbers

€90,000 available under TAMS.

€162,600 available under SEAI.

1,000MW of solar PV generation now connected to Ireland’s electricity network.

This is the equivalent of 750,000 homes powered by solar.

60,000 houses now have their own panels installed.

Where, when and how to register

The events will take place on:

9 April at the Clayton Hotel Silver Springs, Cork.

16 April at the Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny.

23 April at the Errigal Country House Hotel, Cavan.

30 April at the Athlone Springs Hotel, Athlone.

The roadshows are evening events with doors open from 7pm. The session kicks off at 7:30pm sharp and will run until 10pm with tea and coffee afterwards.

To register, go to

If you have any questions about renewable energy options for your farm, business or household, feel free to send us your enquiries ahead of the events at

The roadshow is being delivered in partnership with FBD Insurance, the Irish Farmers Association and Bord Gáis Energy.