Perhaps surprisingly, Ireland gets between 1,100 and 1,600 hours of sunshine every year according to Met Éireann data, with May and June typically our sunniest months.
During the early summer, Ireland receives between 5 and 6.5 hours of daily sunshine on average.
The south and ‘sunny’ south-east regions of Ireland are where the most sunshine can be found, which gets up to 7 hours of direct sunshine in summer.
While much less than Greece and Spain, there is abundant sunlight here to produce free electricity from solar power for specific circumstances.
Of course, with wind power being much more efficient, and being able to produce electricity 24/7, we will likely never see the larger solar systems which are found in southern Europe.
But the pilot solar panel system in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago shows that in certain cases, where there is no desire for wind turbines which are often times considered unsightly and noisy, solar could play a vital role in producing green electricity.
This might be the case for some areas along the western seaboard, where wind turbines might be viewed upon as disrupting the landscape.
While there are obvious differences between Ireland and a region near the North Pole with an extreme climate, the results of the pilot scheme, which has just got underway, will be interesting to follow.