Solar panel limit-lifting key part of government formation talks

Restrictions on the amount of solar panels which can be placed on the roofs of homes and businesses will be significantly eased under plans to increase energy efficiency being discussed in government formation talks.

Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens are continuing their coalition talks and all sides hope a draft programme for government can be concluded by the end of next week.

A two-hour session on climate change on Thursday mostly discussed energy and governance issues around the implementation of climate change policies.

Reducing Ireland’s carbon emissions by an average of 7 per cent annually is the key policy goal of the Greens in coalition talks.

Sources said the focus on Thursday was largely on renewable energy, such as how to achieve an ambition to go further than the current government pledge that 70 per cent of the State’s electricity supply will come from renewable sources by 2030.

Other areas seen as key to achieving the 7 per cent reduction in carbon emissions, such as transport and agriculture, have not yet been the subject of detailed policy negotiations.

It is understood that most of the proposals discussed on Thursday were regarding changes in regulations or legislation. It is expected a new Marine Bill will be a priority for a Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael-Green Party government aimed at encouraging more offshore wind energy generation.

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