The Irish utility scale solar photovoltaic sector experienced significant growth over the course of 2016. In January 2016, only two schemes had acquired planning permission. The situation in January 2017 is quite different as over 156 planning applications for utility scale solar energy schemes have been lodged with planning authorities. The status of each of these applications is set out below (Table 1).
As of the 12th of December 2016, at least 144 utility scale solar photovoltaic schemes have been submitted for planning permission in the Republic of Ireland. Some high level statistics on these applications are set out below:
36 planning applications have been granted for utility scale solar photovoltaic schemes by Irish local authorities or An Bord Pleanála. In addition, another 64 which have an estimated 725 Megawatts (MW) of solar PV capacity been lodged or are under consideration or appeal. This has increased by almost 24% since the last snapshot of the sector taken at the beginning of October. The combined site area for this potential capacity is 1625.2 hectares.