Quantcast

UK Energy Minister Calls For 4 Million Solar Panels

Business

One of the United Kingdom's ministers wants the government to lead the way in deploying renewable energy—to the tune of 4 million solar panels.

Energy Minister Greg Barker said he will announce plans in 2014 for the government estate and the rest of the United Kingdom, according to The Telegraph.

“We need to make the government itself a leader in solar deployment," Barker said “Government public buildings should be at the forefront of the move to renewable energy ... next year you can expect to hear more from me on my ambitious plans to ensure the government estate plays its part in the decentralized energy revolution.

The Solar Trade Association of the United Kingdom estimates 1 gigawatt (GW) of solar energy would total about 4 million panels. If officials decide on solar farms, it would take up to 6,000 acres of land, or the size of 3,000 soccer fields, the group estimates.

United Kingdom Environment Minister Greg Barker wants more buildings to deploy solar energy like London City Hall.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

“The government is sitting on huge potential, we need to do much more," Barker said.

Barker won't limit the deployment—it could include commercial sites, schools, hospitals and more. He wants Britain to install 22 GW of solar energy by 2020.

“Solar farms have an important role to play delivering green power at low cost," Leonie Greene of the Solar Trade Association said. "Done well, solar farms can also actively help boost British biodiversity by providing wildlife sanctuaries. Only 5 percent of the land a solar farm is on is taken up with fixings, so 95 percent of the land remains available to other uses. The solar industry is moving to make sure much of that land is used to help our threatened flora and fauna."

 Barker hasn't released a specific timetable for widespread deployment, and it's not considered "an official government target," according to The Telegraph. It wouldn't be a surprise if a potential announcement would be met with resistance. Just a month ago, Prime Minister David Cameron was quoted as saying aides should "get rid of this green crap" from energy bills.

Still, the idea is already earning its fair share of support.

"By helping schools, communities and offices to become generators of their own power, we can escape the grasp of the greedy Big Six energy companies and beat climate change," Andrew Pendleton, Friends of the Earth's head of campaigns, said.

"But ministers can and must go further and create the right climate for investors large and small to develop the UK's massive renewable power potential."

Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Bumblebees flying and pollinating a creeping thyme flower. emeliemaria / iStock / Getty Images

It pays to pollinate in Minnesota.

Read More Show Less
Aerial view of icebergs on Arctic Ocean in Greenland. Explora_2005 / iStock / Getty Images

The annual Arctic thaw has kicked off with record-setting ice melt and sea ice loss that is several weeks ahead of schedule, scientists said, as the New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Sled dog teams pull researchers from the Danish Meteorological Institute through meltwater on the Greenland ice sheet in early June, 2019. Danish Meteorological Institute / Steffen M. Olsen

By Jon Queally

In yet the latest shocking image depicting just how fast the world's natural systems are changing due to the global climate emergency, a photograph showing a vast expanse of melted Arctic ice in Greenland — one in which a pair of sled dog teams appear to be walking on water — has gone viral.

Read More Show Less
CAFOs often store animal waste in massive, open-air lagoons, like this one at Vanguard Farms in Chocowinity, North Carolina. Bacteria feeding on the animal waste turns the mixture a bright pink. picstever / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

By Tia Schwab

It has been almost a year since Hurricane Florence slammed the Carolinas, dumping a record 30 inches of rainfall in some parts of the states. At least 52 people died, and property and economic losses reached $24 billion, with nearly $17 billion in North Carolina alone. Flood waters also killed an estimated 3.5 million chickens and 5,500 hogs.

Read More Show Less
Members of the NY Renews coalition gathered before New York lawmakers reached a deal on the Climate and Communities Protection Act. NYRenews / Twitter

By Julia Conley

Grassroots climate campaigners in New York applauded on Monday after state lawmakers reached a deal on sweeping climate legislation, paving the way for the passage of what could be some of the country's most ambitious environmental reforms.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
In this picture taken on June 4, an Indian boatman walks amid boats on the dried bed of a lake at Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary, on the eve of World Environment Day. Sam Panthaky / AFP / Getty Images

By Julia Conley

Nearly 50 people died on Saturday in one Indian state as record-breaking heatwaves across the country have caused an increasingly desperate situation.

Read More Show Less
A man carries a poster in New York City during the second annual nationwide March For Science on April 14, 2018. Kena Betancur / Getty Images

By Will J. Grant

In an ideal world, people would look at issues with a clear focus only on the facts. But in the real world, we know that doesn't happen often.

People often look at issues through the prism of their own particular political identity — and have probably always done so.

Read More Show Less

YinYang / E+ / Getty Images

In a blow to the Trump administration, the Supreme Court ruled Monday to uphold a Virginia ban on mining uranium, Reuters reported.

Read More Show Less