Solar PV roofs backed by CPRE
The Campaign for the Preservation of Rural England (CPRE) has come out in favour of confining solar PV panels to rooftops and keeping them out of our fields. They describe rooftop solar PV panels as a ‘no brainer’. On residential properties, solar panels can provide a useful, if irregular, supplement to domestic power supply with only the manufacturing carbon footprint to take into account. Rural solar farms, on the other hand, are fast becoming known as a poor solution to the problems of alternative energy generation.
Dr. Philip Bratby CPRE energy consultant says “Solar farms only work on average about 10% of the time and, and wind farms require huge subsidies, driving up the price of electricty and increasing fuel poverty.”
A major new CPRE report has found that over half the solar panels needed to hit national net zero targets could be fitted on rooftops and in car parks. The report claims that research by the UCL Energy Institute, for CPRE shows that decarbonising the national energy grid requires far less land than feared. “Installing solar panels on existing buildings and car parks would enjoy near-universal public support and help minimise objections to large solar farms in the countryside”, the research finds. It also reveals that the potential of brownfield sites to generate renewable energy is dramatically underused.
The report’s key recommendations to reach the government target of 70GW of solar energy by 2035 include:
- A new rooftop solar target: at least 40GW by 2035 delivered through the lowest cost opportunities on new builds, commercial buildings and car parks.
- Land use framework: a national strategy to balance the competing needs for buildings, carbon sequestration, energy and infrastructure, food security and nature recovery on a finite amount of land.
- ‘Roof first’: local communities can audit solar potential on available south-facing roofs, following the example of Kendal Town Council in the Lake District, and then will be able to prioritise solar panels on suitable brownfield land and avoid best and most versatile agricultural land.
- Grid capacity: work with Ofgem to require Distribution Network Operators across the country to invest in local grid capacity to better accommodate increased generation from solar and heat pumps.
Over half the solar panels needed to hit national net zero targets could be fitted on rooftops and in car parks.
At Property360 we have always believed that rooftop solar PV installations are one of the most effective ways to reduce the energy consumption and carbon footprint of a large percentage of the existing residential and commercial properties in the UK. New build developments may figure largely in the media today, but they still remain only a fraction of what is already out there and mostly in need of modernisation. If you are interested in releasing the renewable potential of your property, residential or commercial, why not call us to discuss it.
All estimates are free of charge and we are always happy to discuss environmentally friendly energy solutions.