Cork optimal for solar energy

By Maisie Mould

Cork is the fourth sunniest county in Ireland for solar energy, a recent study has revealed.

An analysis conducted by Energia has shown Cork ranks fourth in the country across 26 counties in Ireland, with the most amount of sunshine enjoyed in October and November.

These high levels make Cork an optimal location for solar energy.

The top five spots were awarded to Wexford, Waterford, Wicklow, Cork and Clare. Wexford tops the lot as Ireland’s best county for solar panel installation, getting an impressive total of 1,358.76 hours of sunlight each year. Cork gets an annual total of 1,325.88 hours, showing great potential for solar energy generation.

Investing in solar panels helps to cut down on energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint by using sunlight to generate electricity.

According to Electric Ireland, a suitable solar water heating system will cover between 50-60% of your home’s hot water heating requirement.

Robert Stringer of Energia’s Solar team, said: “Electricity generated by the solar PV system produces less carbon emissions per unit of electricity than electricity imported from the grid. Plus, electricity generated by your solar PV system can be exported back to the grid and you will receive a payment for each unity exported.”

Solar panels can store unused electricity for times when sunlight levels are low, and also offers the change to sell surplus electricity back to the grid.

Robert also highlighted that “a solar PV system adds value to your home, as well as improving the BER rating. A higher BER opens up access to lower-cost green financing for mortgages and home loans.”

The study gathered information from a range of weather websites in order to compile the total number of sunlight hours for each county over the course of a year. It showed Ireland to be a favourable place for solar energy, despite Ireland’s fame for rain over sun.

Grants are available from the SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) to help cover the cost of installing solar panels.

In the midst of high energy costs, solar panels look like the way to go in Ireland.