RENEWABLE energy specialist, The EcoExperts, has welcomed Northern Ireland’s decision to make installing solar panels easier.
Owners of schools, businesses and farm buildings in Northern Ireland will no longer need to get planning permission if they wish to install solar PV panels on their properties.
The move comes into force today (April 30) and will apply to both photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal installations.
An Eco Experts spokesperson said: “It is fantastic that it is now easier for residents and business owners to generate their own clean energy and access the generous return-on-investments that solar panels provide.
“As energy prices look set to rise again this winter it is great people in Northern Ireland can escape this by making their own free electricity.”
Northern Ireland’s environment minister, Alex Attwood, said: “This is a good boost for a cleaner, greener Northern Ireland. By removing red tape around having to make a planning application, schools, businesses and farms will be able to enjoy the benefits of solar energy much more easily.
“For them it will mean cheaper, greener, cleaner energy. A win for consumers and a win for the environment.Increasing the range of development that no longer needs planning permission will make it easier for businesses and other non-domestic properties to install renewable energy technologies.
“Technologies such as solar panels, heat pumps, biomass boiler housing and fuel storage containers all contribute to reducing the impact of climate change.
“It is also little appreciated that much of Northern Ireland is in a solar belt, where the quality of light and sun makes commercial solar feasible. I want to see domestic and commercial solar grow. Renewables can be one of, if not our biggest economic opportunity.”