Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

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

Food Tank

By Danielle Nierenberg and Alonso Diaz

With record high unemployment, a reeling global economy, and concerns of food shortages, the world as we know it is changing. But even as these shifts expose inequities in the health and food systems, many experts hope that the current moment offers an opportunity to build a new and more sustainable food system.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Brian J. Love and Julie Rieland

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the U.S. recycling industry. Waste sources, quantities and destinations are all in flux, and shutdowns have devastated an industry that was already struggling.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Kris Gunnars, BSc

Unhealthy foods play a primary role in many people gaining weight and developing chronic health conditions, more now than ever before.

Read More Show Less
A man pushes his mother in a wheelchair down Ocean Drive in South Beach, Miami on May 19, 2020, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. reported more than 55,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, in a sign that the outbreak is not letting up as the Fourth of July weekend kicks off.

Read More Show Less
To better understand how people influence the overall health of dolphins, Oklahoma State University's Unmanned Systems Research Institute is developing a drone to collect samples from the spray that comes from their blowholes. Ken Y. / CC by 2.0

By Jason Bruck

Human actions have taken a steep toll on whales and dolphins. Some studies estimate that small whale abundance, which includes dolphins, has fallen 87% since 1980 and thousands of whales die from rope entanglement annually. But humans also cause less obvious harm. Researchers have found changes in the stress levels, reproductive health and respiratory health of these animals, but this valuable data is extremely hard to collect.

Read More Show Less

Sunscreen pollution is accelerating the demise of coral reefs globally by causing permanent DNA damage to coral. gonzalo martinez / iStock / Getty Images Plus

On July 29, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a controversial bill prohibiting local governments from banning certain types of sunscreens.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Oat milk is popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores alike, quickly becoming one of the trendiest plant-based milks. jacqueline / CC by 2.0

By Kelli McGrane

Oat milk is popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores alike, quickly becoming one of the trendiest plant-based milks.

Read More Show Less