The Green Party is seeking to remove planning restrictions around the installation of solar panels.

Senators will today debate a bill to amend current planning and development regulations.

It will mean that schools and public buildings will no longer be required to seek planning permission for solar panels, however there will be some restrictions, such as proximity to the apex of a roof and protections for listed buildings.

Senator Róisín Garvey, one of three Green senators sponsoring the bill, said it "will simplify the whole palaver around putting solar panels on school buildings, public buildings and agricultural buildings".

She says that such buildings will then be able to sell excess power back to the grid.

"Schools, when they're closed during the sunniest time of the year, July and August, will be able to supply clean, green energy and get paid for it" and "farmers will be able to get it on their agricultural buildings, up to half their entire roof can be covered with solar panels", the Green Party spokesperson for rural development said.

Senator Garvey believes that there will be majority support for the legislation and hopes that it can be brought through the Oireachtas in the coming months.

The bill will go before the Seanad this evening.

Under the bill, homes will be able to install larger arrays of solar panels without planning permission, meaning the panels will no longer be restricted to 12 metres squared or 50% of the roof areas.

Solar panels installed on the ground would also be able to reach a height of 4 metres.