Solar panels and the London Eye

Bring me sunshine! How London’s homes could generate more solar energy

Date published: 
23 October 2015

London has the lowest amount of installed solar power capacity in the UK[1].

This is usually blamed on the capital’s tall, thin buildings, a larger number of flats, more renters and a more transient population. However, analysis by the London Assembly Environment Committee has found that the capital still performs worst of all regions when comparing only unshared, owner-occupied houses.  

The Committee's report, ‘Bring me sunshine! How London’s homes could generate more solar energy’ explores why London isn’t meeting its potential for producing solar power and makes recommendations to help rectify the situation.

The report calls on the current Mayor to lobby the Government against the proposed 87 per cent cut or complete scrappage of the Feed-In Tariff (FiT), which provides financial subsidy to households with solar panels[2]

The Committee also wants the capital’s incoming Mayor to promote the benefits of domestic solar power to Londoners and to provide them with the support and knowledge to utilise this valuable green energy source.  

Recommendations

The report makes a number of recommendations, including:

  • The Mayor should argue for greater stability in solar PV policy and gradual, predictable reductions in subsidies.
  • The GLA should ensure that major developments which are suitable for solar PV are only permitted if solar panels are included in the design.
  • The GLA should set out ways to increase domestic solar power for Londoners in its upcoming Energy Plan, paying particular attention to landlords in the private rented sector.

[1] Feed-in Tariff Installation Report 1 April 2010 - 31 March 2015 – Ofgem and dwelling data from 2010 census (Nomis dataset DC4403EW).
[2] The report is the view of a majority of the Committee. The GLA Conservative Members’ dissenting views are set out in a minority opinion within the report.

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