Large south-facing rooftops of governmental and commercial buildings will be turned into small solar power plants

Empty roofs to be turned into solar hubs

The UK government has announced plans to cover large roofs of governmental and commercial buildings with solar panels, turning them into solar energy hubs.

Instead of building new large solar farms, the project, part of the UK’s first Solar Strategy, will see previously unutilised surfaces of factories, supermarkets or car parks, employed in local energy generation.

The government hopes the undertaking will create tens of thousands of jobs and cover up to 250,000 hectares of south-facing rooftops with photovoltaic cells.

"There is massive potential to turn our large buildings into power stations and we must seize the opportunity this offers to boost our economy as part of our long-term economic plan,” said Energy minister Greg Barker.

"Solar not only benefits the environment, it will see British job creation and deliver the clean and reliable energy supplies that the country needs at the lowest possible cost to consumers."

As the efficiency of solar panels is constantly improving, solar panels are seen as a viable solution for local energy generation in many situations.

In a further initiative, the Department for Education is working on ways to improve energy efficiency across the 22,000 schools in England, to reduce their annual energy spending. The initiative will encourage the deployment of photovoltaic panels on schools alongside promoting energy efficiency.

“Solar panels are a sensible choice for schools, particularly in terms of the financial benefits they can bring. It is also a great way for pupils to engage with environmental issues and think about where energy comes from,” said Education Secretary Michael Gove.

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