One of the most promising ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change is to harness the power of the sun. Solar energy is clean, renewable and abundant, but it also faces some challenges, such as the intermittency of sunlight and the need for large areas to install solar panels. However, there is a solution that can overcome these obstacles: using Britain’s roofs as a huge resource for solar energy.
Britain has millions of buildings with roofs that are exposed to sunlight every day. These roofs can be fitted with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that convert sunlight into electricity, which can then be used to power homes, businesses and communities. According to a study by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Britain’s rooftops have the potential to generate up to 40% of the country’s electricity demand, equivalent to 83 gigawatts of capacity. This would reduce carbon emissions by 27 million tonnes per year, or 8% of the UK’s total.
Using Britain’s roofs for solar energy has many benefits, such as reducing reliance on fossil fuels, lowering energy bills, creating jobs and improving air quality. It also makes use of existing infrastructure and avoids the need for new land use or transmission lines. Moreover, it can increase the resilience and security of the energy system, as rooftop solar PV can provide distributed and decentralised generation that can cope with fluctuations in demand and supply.
Therefore, Britain’s roofs can be a huge resource for solar energy that can help the country achieve its net-zero emissions target by 2050. To unlock this potential, more support and incentives are needed from the government, the industry and the public to encourage the adoption and installation of rooftop solar PV systems across the country.