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Competition Info

National Competition - Primary & Secondary Winners across Ireland.


Think schools should run on Solar Power?? So do we! That's why we're hosting a competition to find schools with great ideas for Climate Action, and giving them the chance to win solar panels for their roof.  

We think every school should be a Solar School!  So as well as this competition, we are working to break down the barriers that currently make it so hard for schools to go solar in Ireland. 

Enter Now - All you need is a great idea for a local Climate Action project

  • Apply online by February 14th 2020 (Valentine's Day). 
  • With your application, include a 1-minute video explaining your idea for a local climate action project.
  • Ask your community to vote in the online vote in February! 


  • At least 8 schools (potential for up to 16 winners*) across the country will win solar panels.
  • Primary and Secondary school winners in each of the 4 regions (Dublin, Leinster, North West, & South). 
  • Free workshop for all winning schools.
  • Free Workshops for runners up in every county.
  • Support to carry out your action project.

Why Become a Solar School? 

  • Lead the change to a clean renewably-powered future and help Ireland play its fair share in tackling the Climate Crisis.
  • Save money on bills.
  • Learn about the benefits of renewable energy.
  • Learn about renewable energy policy in Ireland.
  • Gain knowledge of the political system in Ireland & how to engage with politicians.
  • Help demand easier access to renewable energy for all schools!
  • Gain skills for engaging with media. E.g. writing press releases, local radio interview.


  • Application deadline February 14th, 2020. 
  • February 15th - 21st - Judging and public vote, the best ideas win! 
  • February 24th -  Winners announced!
  • April 2020 - Workshops with all winning schools 
  • Winning projects completed by May 15th, 2020. 
  • Solar panels installed over Summer 2020.

Regions - Prizes for Primary & Secondary Schools in Each Region 

At least 8 schools will win solar panels (up to 16).

  • Dublin - City and County
  • Leinster - Wexford, Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Wicklow, Meath, Offaly, Westmeath, Louth. 
  • North and West of Ireland -  Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Longford, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo, Monaghan, Cavan. 
  • Southern Ireland - Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, Waterford.

Judging Criteria 

Questions to ask when planning your project:

  • Is your project related to community energy/renewable energy/solar energy/climate change? 
  • Does your project have an awareness-raising element?
  • Will your project improve your team working skills? 
  • Does your project demonstrate your researching and planning skills? 
  • Does your project include other people in your school (teacher, students, parents, Board members)? 
  • Does your project engage other members of the community (local people, local newspapers, clubs, politicians, TDs etc.)?
  • Does your project demonstrate your knowledge of environmental issues, particularly knowledge relating to energy, climate change, environmental policies in Ireland & Europe? 

Terms & Conditions


Further enquires contact Triona on or call 01 639 4652


*At least 8, and up to 16 schools will win solar panels for their school in 2020.  The final number will depend on the level of grants available by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).  2020 will be the first year schools will be eligible to apply for grants for solar panels from the SEAI under their Communities Grant programme.  Details of the Communities Programme will be announced in November 2019.

**There is a uniquely Irish rule that makes putting solar panels on schools extra challenging. Planning permission.  Schools need to apply for planning permission to put up even one solar panel.  Everyone agrees this needs to change! Minister Murphy has promised in the Climate Action plan to change it by the end of 2019.  We will wait until this rule is changed before we install any solar panels. (To apply for planning permission would add about €3,500 to the cost, and we'd rather spend that money on more solar panels).

*Winning schools will receive a 90% grant AND all of the support needed to negotiate putting solar on their roof. Each winning school will be required to fundraise for the final 10%.

Did you know you can enter your Solar School competition idea/project into the ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards under the Climate Change, Energy or other categories? For more information check out or  or contact Susie at


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