100 million new solar panels needed to meet Labour’s pledge

April 14, 2015

Labour’s election promise to remove the carbon from the UK’s electricity supply by 2030 would require an additional 100 million solar panels to be installed over the next 15 years, according to calculations made by renewables firm EvoEnergy.

The commitment, made yesterday, to introduce this as a legal target in the event of a majority Labour government on May 7th would require almost 700,000 panels to be installed each year – the same as almost 1,500 football pitches.

In total, almost 26GW extra self-generation would be required on top of the 5GW of power already produced through solar in the UK.

Tim Hickman, technical manager for EvoEnergy, said: “Committing to making the power network carbon free by 2030 is a big ask and will depend very much on political will and effective bipartisanship on the part of the big parties.

“Of course in reality, meeting this target wouldn’t be achieved through solar alone, but whatever the mix of clean energy generation that’s chosen, EvoEnergy is ready and willing to make its contribution. It has experience in commercial roof space projects as well as innovative export power control systems that enable solar arrays of any size to operate even in parts of the country where the electricity network is constrained.”

EvoEnergy’s figures are based on the number of typical 250Wp panels that would be required to save 178.5 million tonnes of CO2, the amount of greenhouse gases produced by the UK’s energy supply in 2013 [Gov.org.uk]. Calculations were made based on a typical install in Nottingham at a five-degree pitch, 45 degrees either side of south and using a mean average for kWh. Full workings available on request.

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