Rooftop Solar Panels Could Generate Two Nuclear Power Stations Worth of Electricity

November 17, 2023 by Greg Bishop

Two nuclear power stations worth of electricity, or 7GW – that’s how much energy could be generated by households in England if all areas matched Peterborough’s example.

The analysis by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), used Government data showing that Peterborough has the highest proportion of homes with rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) panels of English parliamentary constituencies.

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Green Technology in 3 Million Homes

The ECIU, a non-profit organisation that supports informed debate on energy and climate change issues in the UK, concluded that should the rest of England match Peterborough’s more than 1 in 6 homes having rooftop solar PV, 3 million properties could have the green technology installed across the country.

This could generate more than double that of Hinkley C nuclear power station which will have a capacity of around 3.2GW when completed.

Currently, 17% of homes in Peterborough have solar PV systems installed, totalling 6,744.

Commercial Solar – Potential 15GW

The report also noted that there is a capacity potential of 15GW on the roofs of commercial properties, such as warehouses and that this combined with Peterborough levels of household rooftop PV could deliver a total additional capacity of 22GW, equivalent to 7 nuclear power stations.

£450 Million Saving For Homes and Businesses

The ECIU’s report calculated that this extra capacity could save homes and businesses around £450 million per year that would otherwise be used on gas bills.

Greg Bishop, Managing Director of NGRE, said: “This is a really interesting analysis by the ECIU and it is amazing to see the potential of rooftop solar.

“Some of the figures do seem a little fanciful but then you look at Peterborough’s example and you can clearly see that it is demonstrably achievable.”

Rooftop Solar Could Provide a Chunk of our Energy

Greg added: “There are some very high-profile ground-mounted solar schemes in the news at the moment, partly because there is a lot of controversy surrounding them, but from these statistics we can see that rooftop solar could easily provide a sizable chunk of our energy needs on its own, helping businesses and homeowners reduce costs and their carbon footprint.”

Solar PV Breaking Records

Solar PV installations are continuing to break records in 2023. According to the MCS, the official standards body for renewable technologies, by the end of June, there were 102,797 certified installations of solar PV, 82% more than in the first half of 2022.

MCS data further shows that 2023 is the first year to average more than 20,000 solar panel installations per month.

The Government is aiming for 70GW of ground-mounted and rooftop solar capacity by 2035 as part of its Net Zero drive, a fivefold increase on current installed capacity.

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