Solar energy development on brownfield sites in Ireland could reach as much as 3GW because of significant commercial advantages over greenfield locations, according to a report by Dulas.

The renewable energy advisor said in the study – ‘Irish Brownfield Report’ – that it based the 3GW conclusion on market estimates of 400 to 600 brownfield sites in the country and a feed-in-tariff favourable for 5MW projects per site.

It added that this is the “best case scenario”, as not all sites would be available or suitable for construction.

But, Dulas said, until the government’s renewables policy and financial support are finalised, the level of detail required to instil confidence in investors and enable them to back the market remains elusive.

The report also highlighted other challenges, such as the need to hire specialist consultants and contractors and possible planning hurdles in securing the relevant licences for construction on contaminated land.

It said that managing these challenges will be crucial if the Irish solar sector’s promise is to be realised.

Dulas sales & marketing director Alistair Marsden said: “The Irish solar market is one that can offer the right incentives to construction and development, with all the benefits of building in a mature Western European economy.

“Brownfield construction in Ireland enables swifter and easier planning, and the potential for improved grid accessibility.”

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