In the wake of the announcement of one of the country’s biggest solar farms getting under way in Cork, Munster IFA chair Harold Kingston has lamented the fact that more isn’t being done to incentivise farmers to get involved in the solar power solution to climate change.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Drivetime, Kingston said that the country was missing out on a “huge opportunity” by not simplifying the rules to allow farmers to put solar panels on sheds and sell the energy generated back to the grid.
He said there was a failure of Government departments to have joined-up thinking on the issue and outlined the huge barriers that were currently in place.
These included that farmers could not sell electricity back to the grid easily and the fact that planning permission was needed to install solar panels on shed roofs.
He also explained that the current costs involved were prohibitive and that a capital grant was needed to incentivise farmers to get involved.
He insisted that in terms of climate change and creating renewable energy that “farmers can be part of the solution”.