County Clare, Ireland [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] The Renewable Energy Skills Accel Project, one of Ireland’s renewable energy associations, has called on Ireland’s Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government to clarify the planning implications of installing Solar Thermal or Photovoltaic (PV) panels on new and existing roofs.The group has claimed that the Government should also consider classifying such installations as ‘exempted development’ under Planning Law in a bid to encourage the use of more secure and sustainable forms of energy. In recent years, Ireland has witnessed a steady increase in the installation of renewable energy heating systems such as geothermal, wood burning stoves, solar thermal and photovoltaic (PV). The Irish planning system currently allows panels to be installed at the rear of buildings without planning, but planning permission is required for panels on the front part of a roof. Renewable Energy Skills has now urgently called on the Government to follow up on exemptions it proposed allowing micro-renewable technologies such as mini-wind turbines and solar panels to be erected without planning permission. Clarification on all planning implications surrounding solar and PV panel installations is needed. In a letter to the Minister the Local Authority has also sought, if necessary, that such installations be classified as exempted development.