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Why Solar on Schools?

We're putting solar panels on schools, to showcase what's possible. Going solar has great benefits for both climate and communities! 

But this competition is not just about solar panels, and the benefits. It's also about shining a light on the roadblocks. Getting solar on a roof in Ireland is really hard. We want to change that!

To get just one solar panel on a roof of a school, you need to apply for planning permission. And the rules are really strict.

And even if you succeed in getting solar - the excess energy you generate goes back to the grid for free. But with a feed-in-tarrif you could be making money by selling your excess energy back to the grid for a fair price.

There's hope!

Last year, 5 schools won our solar schools competition and this year we'll have up to 16!

Each school can switch over to Community Power - Ireland's first ever energy provider that not only supports community energy - it's powered by community energy. With Community Power, Solar Schools can sell their excess energy back to the grid for a fair price.

And you can switch to Community Power too!

Just like Solar Schools we can all save money and carbon.

 

Join our Solar Schools Youth Assemblies

As part of our Solar Schools Project we are hosting regional Solar School Youth Assemblies during the last two weeks of May to bring students from primary and secondary schools together to share youth visions and demands for what a sustainable future in Ireland could look like. Learn more and register your school or class group here. 

For the Love of Solar - Act Now!

Help us change the rules so every school can be a solar school.

For the Love of Solar

Take our e-action to change the rules!

Use our e-action to email your TDs, asking them to act today to change the rules to make it easier for schools and community buildings to install solar panels.



Generation Solar CircleSwitch to Community Energy!

Make the switch today, change your electricity provider and help power Ireland's clean energy revolution.

Community Power offers fair, consistent, transparent and competitive rates to both customers and renewable energy generators.

Solar Schools Competition

National Competition - Primary & Secondary Winners across Ireland.

Thanks to all the amazing schools who took part in Solar Schools 2020, and to everyone who voted in the online vote. 

The winners for Solar Schools 2020 are:

Primary Schools

Winners

Guardian Angels, Blackrock, Co Dublin
St Brigids National School Grange, Co Carlow
Scoil Naomh Brid, Co Donegal
Mercy Moyderwell, Tralees, Co Kerry

Runners Up
Holywell ETNS, Dublin
Oxmantown National School, Co Offlay
Kilglass National School, Co Galway
Anabla National School, Co Kerry

Secondary Schools
Winners
St Pauls CBS, Dublin
St Peters College, Co Wexford
Colaiste Chroi Mhuire, Co Galway
Presentation Secondary School, Clonmel, Co Tipperary

Runners Up
The Kings Hospital, Dublin
Sacred Heart Secondary School, Co Louth
Regina Mundi College, Co Cork
Colaiste Einde, Co Galway

 

 

 

Reporting back from our Solar Schools Assemblies

Issued in the blog on June 15, 2021 at 17:00:00.

vision 3

Friends of the Earth invited schools from across Ireland to participate in our online regional Solar School Youth Assemblies to share their visions for a sustainable future in Ireland.

We believe schools can play a vital role in the energy transition! And help ensure that this transition is both fast and fair. This is why it’s so important to make sure students have opportunities to learn about what a Just Transition means and to connect with and share their demands with decision makers.

Read the full entry »

Join our solar schools youth assemblies!

Issued in the blog on May 11, 2021 at 16:34:00.

SSchool assemblies

To address the climate crisis, we need to get off fossil fuels fast. Ireland has excellent renewable energy resources, but our energy system uses fossil fuels for the majority of our energy needs in transport, heating and electricity. This has to change. Fast! 

At Friends of the Earth we are working to make sure that Ireland’s energy system is fit for the future, with no more investment in fossil fuel infrastructure, no more exploration for fossil fuels and an energy system that values and supports citizens and communities participating in and benefiting from our renewable energy transition.

Read the full entry »

Power to the People Campaign Update

Issued in the blog on February 22, 2021 at 17:34:00.

Upperchurch_School pic with logo in sky

Power to the People is our campaign to achieve the electricity-related key results of the Strategic Objective on emissions reduction, by putting citizens and communities at the heart of the transition to 100% renewable power.

We’ve made good progress on our campaign to change the planning regulations to allow solar panels on schools. Two weeks ago the Sunday Business Post reported that planning regulations would be changing to facilitate solar panels on buildings, including schools. We're continuing our campaign for legislation to seal the deal on this and make sure it happens. 

Councillors around Ireland have been supporting this too, and both Galway County Council and Westmeath County Council have passed motions recently supporting a change in the planning regulations.

Read the full entry »

Solar Schools 2020 and the winners are

Issued in the blog on March 13, 2020 at 09:36:00.

Solar Schools Flyer_0001

Voting and judging for Solar Schools 2020 is now complete.  The winners were judged by an independent judging panel following the results of an online public vote. 

Schools were tasked with coming up with an idea for a local climate action project.  And as expected, students in Ireland have fantastic ideas.  The winners will now complete their climate action project, and will get solar pv panels designed and installed at their school. 

We are very grateful for financial support for this project from the following organisations.  It would not be possible without them. 

funders

The winners for Solar Schools 2020 are:

Primary Schools
Winners

Guardian Angels, Blackrock, Co Dublin
St Brigids National School Grange, Co Carlow
Scoil Naomh Brid, Co Donegal
Mercy Moyderwell, Tralees, Co Kerry

Read the full entry »

Solar Schools - For the Love of Solar

Issued in the blog on February 24, 2020 at 22:09:00.

web - Copy

Voting is now live for the Friends of the Earth Solar Schools 2020 competition!!

Our 'For the love of solar' competition is deisgned to help schools all over Ireland to go solar. With thanks to our generous funders, next week we willl be announcing at least 8 schools as winners of solar panels, 4 primary and 4 secondary schools.  But really, we think every school should be a solar school. In fact we think every school, community building, sports club and local authority should go solar, to generate clean renewbale energy right from their rooftops. 

Read the full entry »

For The Love Of Solar! 2 Weeks To Go!

Issued in the blog on January 31, 2020 at 14:12:00.

Solar Schools Flyer_0001

WIN SOLAR PANELS for your local school!

Young people all over Ireland calling for climate action while sitting in classrooms and learning in old buildings powered by fossil fuels. Meanwhile, Friends of the Earth are building a movement behind solar power in Ireland, that’s why we are running a competition to put solar panels on schools

Enter Now!!

This competition is an excellent opportunity for communities to participate in renewable energy generation, and schools are the ideal place for valuable community-based education to occur. The competition will play an important role in encouraging communities to take the first step on their sustainable energy journey.

Read the full entry »

For the Love of Solar - Schools Competition open TODAY!!

Issued in news on November 21, 2019 at 16:26:00.

For the Love of Solar - Act NowThe Friends of the Earth Solar Schools competition opened today, Thursday 21st November with Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O'Connor and the new Chair of Eirgrid Brendan Tuohy. 

Winning schools will receive solar panels designed and installed on the roof of their school with a 90% grant, allowing them to generate clean, free, renewable electricity to power their whiteboards, photocopiers and computers right from their roof.  Schools all over the country are invited to take part by coming up with an idea for a local project on Climate Action.

Many thanks to the students from Scoil Naomh Eoin, St Colmans College and St Colmcille's Community School for coming along to tell us about their climate action projects over the last year. 

Read the full entry »

Our schools are finally going solar!

Issued in the blog on November 12, 2019 at 12:14:00.

Hands Up For Solar Typeform Image

Upperchurch National School in Tipperary is the first Friends of the Earth Solar School. Panels were installed over the Halloween mid term break, and the school is now generating its own electricity right from its roof!!

We have four more to go in Dublin, Limerick, Mayo and the Aran Islands. We think every school should be a solar school by 2025, and we are lobbying hard at Government to support this.

And they are listening! Minister Murphy has committed to changing the planning regulations, so schools dont have to apply for planning permission which they do at the moment for even one solar panel AND the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland have disclosed they will be offering grants for solar panels for schools from next year.

Upperchurch Solar SchoolUpperchurch NS_Tipperary

Read the full entry »

Solar Schools are Championing Community Power

Issued in the blog on July 26, 2019 at 13:09:00.

map

In 2018 we launched our Solar Schools competition, where five schools won solar panels so that they can power themselves with renewable energy straight from their rooftops.

Schools will be excited to know we will be launching a second competition in September, so even more schools can generate their own energy! Every winning school receives a 90% grant for their solar panels and all of the technical and bureaucratic support needed for the installation of the solar panels.

This competition is an excellent opportunity for communities to participate in renewable energy generation, and schools are the ideal place for valuable community-based education to occur. The competition will play an important role in encouraging communities to take the first step on their sustainable energy journey.

Read the full entry »

Another Win for Community Power!

Issued in the blog on July 23, 2019 at 13:27:00.

solar house1

Thanks to the generosity and action of our supporters, real change is now on the horizon.

Six weeks ago we emailed our supporters to tell them about a family home in Limerick that was forced to take down their solar panels becuase of a breach in planning permission rules. We asked you to chip in to help fund an appeal to change the rules. In order to unlock the potential for solar we need to break down lots of barriers like this. 

Read the full entry »

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