British rooftops to become power stations
The UK Solar PV Strategy, the first of its kind in Britain, was published by the Department of Energy & Climate Change, which sets out the government's ambition to see solar panels rolled out more widely and with it the potential to support tens of thousands of jobs.
According to the strategy, there are an estimated 250,000 hectares of south facing commercial roofs in Britain. Energy department will clear the way for widespread use of mid-scale solar panels by using space on top of factories, supermarkets, warehouses, parking lots and other commercial and industrial buildings.
The government will also use public estate such as Ministry of Defence buildings, schools, and hospitals to make sure that not one inch of suitable Government roof space is wasted.
"We have put ourselves among the world leaders on solar and this ambitious strategy will place us right at the cutting edge," said Minister of State for Energy Greg Barker.
"There is massive potential to turn our large buildings into power stations and we must seize the opportunity this offers to boost our economy as part of our long term economic plan. Solar not only benefits the environment, it will see British job creation and deliver the clean and reliable energy supplies that the country needs at the lowest possible cost to consumers," he added.
The strategy shows that the British solar PV sector has undergone a huge transformation since 2010. And from almost zero, solar panels have now been deployed on over half a million buildings.
In a further initiative, the Department for Education is working on ways to improve energy efficiency across the 22,000 schools in England. The initiative will encourage the deployment of solar panels on school roofs alongside promoting energy efficiency.
"Solar panels are a sensible choice for schools, particularly in terms of the financial benefits they can bring. It is also a great way for pupils to engage with environmental issues and think about where energy comes from," said Michael Gove, the Education Secretary. ■