November 21, 2023
Sinn Féin publish proposals to maximise Ireland’s solar potential – Darren O’Rourke TD and Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin’s Darren O’Rourke TD and Senator Lynn Boylan have today published proposals to rapidly accelerate Solar Photovoltaics (PV) and to enhance access for ordinary workers, families and communities, ensuring that Ireland’s solar revolution translates this natural resource into national wealth for all. 

Speaking today, Sinn Féin spokesperson for the Environment and Climate Action, Darren O’Rourke TD, said:

“In 2022, Solar PV demonstrated the largest absolute generation growth of all renewable technologies globally, surpassing wind for the first time ever.

“In this, Ireland is no exception. With increased investment and determination, as well as decisive ac­tion to address grid capacity, planning and regulation challenges, Sinn Féin will not let this opportunity pass our island by.

“This is because the abundance of solar energy here means it has great potential to become a signif­icant component of our energy mix. In fact, solar power has emerged as Ireland’s fastest growing energy source.

“It is expected that 1GW of solar will be connected to the network by the end of 2023.

“However, it is clear that a significant increase in investment is urgently needed to accelerate the delivery of Solar PV to meet our 5GW target for 2025 and 8GW target for 2030 and crucially, to ensure the roll-out maximises long-term social and economic benefits for all in Irish society.

“Sinn Féin’s proposals would accelerate the renewables transition by delivering even more ambitious solar programmes while also prioritising new interventions to substantially enhance accessibility and affordability. Ordinary workers, families and communities must be central to Ireland’s solar revolution.

“Harnessing our solar potential will help Ireland to cut emissions by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.

“It will also bring us closer to our goal of an energy independent Ireland, whereby natural resources can be translated into national wealth for all, rather than being concentrated in the hands of the wealthy.”

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Climate Justice, Senator Lynn Boylan, continued:

“Unlike successive Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael led governments, Sinn Féin’s vision for the decarbonisation of our economy and society places fairness at the heart of our proposals.

“Solar PV can be deployed from the rooftops of homes, schools, businesses and farms; beside roads, motorways, car parks and railway lines – mean­ing that there is ample scope for an innovative and ambitious approach to solar power.

“Advances in this field have made this technology more reliable and more readily deployable than ever before. This has empowered individuals and communities to produce their own green energy while reducing their energy bills and contributing excess energy to the grid.

“Sinn Féin wants to maximise this potential as part of a just transition. We want to see Solar PV panels installed on homes, businesses, schools, community/sports buildings, and farms across Ireland to help cut our carbon emissions and deliver savings for citizens and communities.

“Sinn Féin would double the funding allocated for Solar PV grants, restructure the funding of grant support to make solar panels a realistic option for those on lower incomes, install solar PV on every school in the state, empower local communities to pursue solar for community buildings and work with farmers to make solar energy a part of sustainable family farms.

“We believe that the green transition can be for everyone.”

ENDS

You can view Sinn Féin’s “Maximising our solar potential” policy document here.

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