News Article

Analysis Of UK Commercial Roof Space Shows Solar PV Film Can Achieve Net Zero Without Greenfield Sites


Power Roll, the developer of ultra-low cost and lightweight flexible film for energy generation and storage, has concluded that commercial roof space can easily support the levels of solar PV required to meet the UK's net-zero targets - without putting further pressure on greenfield sites.

The Climate Change Committee in its Sixth Carbon Budget states that 75 GW - 90 GW will be required to achieve net zero under a range of scenarios.

Development of solar farms is growing rapidly across the UK. According to research by Solar Media, the cumulative pipeline of UK solar farms has reached 11.6 GW across 469 sites, which includes 4 GW of new sites being scoped or put into full application over the past six months. Typically, developers require about 2 hectares (5 acres) of land per megawatt of solar power, which means an average 50 MW solar farm can occupy up to 250 acres of land.

In a recent call for evidence, BEIS is seeking input from the industry on how to deliver a high renewable, net-zero electricity system. One of the potential barriers the call for evidence raises is community acceptance for renewables schemes. Some recent applications for mega-scale solar farms on greenfield sites have attracted criticism from environmental groups.

“The public is very supportive of solar PV, but that may change if we continue to pursue mega-scale projects that use hundreds of acres of greenfield land,” commented Neil Spann, managing director, Power Roll. “We do, however, have a lot of ‘big sheds' in the UK and that means a lot of roof space with the potential to accommodate solar on the scale we need to achieve net zero.”

Power Roll's analysis shows that there are around 2.5 billion square meters of south-facing commercial roof space in the UK, which could support over 400 GW of solar power; well in excess of the latest estimates of the capacity required to deliver net zero.

Spann continued: “We recognise that many roofs are not strong enough to support traditional heavy crystalline silicon PV panels. There are flexible PV technologies on the market, but they are too expensive for anything other than niche use. However, with lightweight, affordable solar film we can start to deploy solar PV at scale on commercial buildings - even making use of non-load bearing roofs.”

Power Roll is commercialising an innovative and ultra-lightweight solar film with a target manufacturing cost 20 times cheaper than existing flexible solar PV, which will deliver the lowest levelised energy cost of any solar technology.

Sonnedix Named ESG Global Solar Power Generation Sector Leader By GRESB
TLT Advises Innova Energy On £30m Refinancing Of 57 MW Solar Portfolio
Low Carbon Develop UK’s Largest Community-owned Solar Park
The Smarter E South America Postponed To October 18-20, 2021
FRV And Harmony Energy To Develop Second UK Utility Scale Battery Project
Going Green In Lancashire – Hundreds Of Houses Installed With Solar Panels In Ground-breaking Project
Tandem PV Devices Feel The Heat
Sunstore Solar Launches WattGrid, A New Range Of Turnkey Off-grid Power Systems
SOLARWATT Links With Easy Roof To Provide Building-integrated PV For Better-looking Buildings And Smart EV Charging
UK'S Largest Battery Ready To Balance The Grid
Greencoat Renewables Announces First Transaction In Nordic Market
Oakapple Renewable Energy Appoint Stuart Gentry To Head Business Development
New Innovation Set To Change Renewable Energy Market
Analysis Of UK Commercial Roof Space Shows Solar PV Film Can Achieve Net Zero Without Greenfield Sites
UK Green Tech Company Myenergi To Double Workforce By 2021
NextEnergy Capital Acquires Its First Asset In Portugal 17.4MWp Solar PV Project
Ingenious Invests In Electric Vehicle Charging Firm
Sharp Launches New 440W Half-cut Cell PV Panel
FIMER Powers UK Largest Rooftop Solar Project
TLT Advises Santander On 30MW Flagship Battery Storage Project
Power Roll Trials Solar PV To Power Up Himalayan Villages
Solar Power As Rental Offer Launched By Aggreko
Everoze Creates Skyray To Design And Engineer Great Solar PV Projects
Habitat Enerdy Enters Balancing Mechanism With Largest Battery
Search the news archive

To close this popup you can press escape or click the close icon.
Register - Step 1

You may choose to subscribe to the Smart Solar Magazine, the Smart Solar Newsletter, or both. You may also request additional information if required, before submitting your application.

Please subscribe me to:


You chose the industry type of "Other"

Please enter the industry that you work in:
Please enter the industry that you work in:
{taasPodcastNotification} Array
Live Event