Green energy prices have experienced a downwards spiral, facilitating the growth of demand and resulting in a rapid increase in the solar industry as a whole. On a national level, the green energy phenomenon has gained huge popularity, the UK government being one of the major contributors to this.
Solar energy in the UK is widely used in households, through installation of solar panels which are now available for all types of homes, varying in sizes and power outputs. Furthermore, solar energy has seen a rise among UK corporations. Through installing solar panel systems on commercial rooftops, companies can benefit from solar energy as well.
Advantages of Solar Energy in UK Corporations
Advantages of commercial rooftops over household roofs include size of the roof space which can accommodate big solar panel systems on warehouses and factories for example. The roof space of such structures is functionless and vacant, so the cost of installing the solar panels is reduced due to this.
Companies can save money through installment of solar panels on the roof of their businesses . The bigger the installed system is, the less time it would take a business to become self-sufficient with power generation. This can drastically decrease energy bills if not eliminate them completely. More so the installation of solar energy on commercial rooftops can add to the commercial value of the property.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) supports the notion of installing more solar systems on commercial rooftops by establishing a series of incentives which will help businesses overcome financial and non-financial barriers. Among these incentives are the feed-in-tariff and solar strategy.
In its efforts to increase solar energy in UK corporations, the government has devised a solar strategy. This strategy aims to transform vacant land and buildings into power stations which could not only increase the region’s dependence on solar energy but create more jobs at the same time. At the basis of the solar strategy are four principles which bring to understanding the aim of the government project.
- Solar PV development will result in the contribution to the carbon objectives through cost-effective projects, and as a whole to the overall energy goals of the region. This support for solar PV will ensure that the technology will have an equally important role among other technological efforts, in reducing carbon emissions and increasing energy security, thus making this more affordable for the customers.
- Increased emphasis on solar PV will reduce carbon emissions, thus helping meet the UK’s target of 15% renewable energy from final consumption by 2020 and furthermore positively impacting the UK economy on a long term basis.
- The development of solar PV should take into consideration environmental impacts such as landscape, heritage and local amenity. Local communities should be allowed to influence the decisions which may affect them.
- The impacts on the national grid such as grid systems balancing, connectivity, and financial incentives should be assessed. The challenges of deploying high volumes of solar PV will need to be evaluated.
Changes in Solar Strategy
One of the issues that the solar strategy initially did not take into consideration was the impact on leasehold and tenancy agreements. With more than half of the UK’s commercial property being leasehold, this was a crucial area that needed to be assessed.
One of the challenges raised by this is persuading the landlords into making a long term solar investment, typically around 20 years, when the average commercial lease lengths in the UK are under 10 years.
After revision of the Solar Strategy, the DECC confirming that it will be possible from 2019 for building mounted solar panels to be moved to a different location without losing Feed in Tariff accreditation, and that schemes up to 1MW in size will no longer require full planning approval before permission is granted.
Read More: Changes in Solar Strategy