There are grant supports available to help manage the cost of both solar PV panels and solar thermal collectors. However, the number of grant sources and amounts available vary greatly between the two technologies.
The SEAI is the primary provider of grant funding for renewable energy technologies, and has grants available for both solar PV and solar thermal systems.
With solar thermal, the only grant amount available is €1,200, this can be a considerable chunk of the cost, but is still lower and less flexible than solar PV grants.
Critically, In order to qualify for the grant the solar thermal system must deliver a certain threshold of renewable energy per square metre of floor space in your home. Therefore, if you have a larger home, or get less sunlight, more solar thermal panels will be needed in order to receive the grant, diminishing its value.
The SEAI grants for homeowners to install solar PV panels maxes out at €2,400, but also has flexibility in that it scales with the size of the solar system you are installing.
For businesses, the Non-Domestic Microgen Grant Scheme has been supercharged this year to offer up to €162,600 in funding for businesses to install solar PV systems up to 1MWp in size.
Both solar PV and solar thermal can avail of the Accelerated Capital Allowance tax relief scheme. But there are other grants such as the Solar Capital Investment Scheme for farmers, for which only solar PV qualifies.