Majority of London schools are missing out on solar energy

10 March 2015

(London Borough breakdown table of solar PV schools below)

Only one in fifteen London schools have taken advantage of the solar photovoltaic (PV) revolution, the Green Party’s Jenny Jones AM, revealed today. The figures are based on data supplied by Friends of the Earth, which is campaigning for it to be easier for schools to fit solar panels through its Run on Sun campaign (1). Government estimates a typical school system can generate an income of £3,400 per year as well as providing pupils with a working example of a renewable technology (2). The London Boroughs of Haringey, Richmond upon Thames, Lewisham have more than 20 schools with solar panels (see table of London boroughs below).

Jenny Jones AM is lobbying Boris Johnson to set up a Solar PV Delivery Unit. Jenny’s proposal forms part of the GLA’s budget process for 2015/16, and would allocate £210k for deploying PV panels on schools, the GLA estate and to help new community schemes off the ground (3). A motion supporting the proposal for the Unit was agreed by the London Assembly (4) and further motion supporting a solar school programme (5).

Jenny Jones AM said:

“If the Mayor could get solar PV panels onto half of the roofs of London schools, it would double the amount of electricity generating capacity the Mayor has managed through his decentralised energy programme. That's why I'm glad the Assembly backed my call for the Mayor to give this a really big push”

“Boris Johnson’s plans to expand existing Mayoral programmes falls short of creating a dedicated Solar PV Delivery Unit and the crucial role that it could play in getting things moving in London. “

“Solar photovoltaics have the greatest potential of any renewable electricity generating technology in London and everybody should be benefitting from this clean energy source that not only cuts our bills but our carbon emissions.”

Solar PV Delivery Unit would take a lead role in promoting, co-ordinating the deployment of mid-sized solar arrays on London schools. It would provide support in undertaking feasibility and implementation work, capture and share best practice and provide advice on the range of available regional, national and European Funds and models used. Engagement will be with Local Education Authorities and Local Authorities, individual schools, the independent school sector and via community energy groups, social enterprises and other organisations involved with its rollout.

London Council

No. of schools (incl. nursery, primary, secondary, special, pupil referral unit, independent) *

No. of schools with installed Solar PV (data supplied by Friends of Earth 'Run on Sun')**

 

Haringey

101

24

 

Richmond upon Thames

77

23

 

Lewisham

98

20

 

Sutton

70

18

 

Barnet

164

14

 

Kingston upon Thames

61

13

 

Lambeth

99

13

 

Merton

71

12

 

Greenwich

103

9

 

Newham

109

9

 

Barking & Dagenham

57

7

 

Camden

96

7

 

Southwark

113

6

***

Hounslow

89

6

 

Tower Hamlets

120

5

 

Havering

87

4

 

Waltham Forest

87

4

 

Bexley

84

3

 

Brent

102

1

 

Croydon

146

1

 

Enfield

104

1

 

Hackney

107

1

 

Harrow

78

1

***

Islington

72

1

***

Kensington & Chelsea

78

1

***

Bromley

115

1

***

Hammersmith & Fulham

79

0

 

Ealing

115

0

 

Hillingdon

102

0

 

Redbridge

98

0

 

Wandsworth

115

0

 

Westminster

88

0

 

City of London

5

0

 

TOTAL

3090

205

 

* London Government Directory 2014/15

   

** Friends of the Earth 'Run on Sun' . Data obtained from FOI requests to Local Authorities, combined with the records of several groups installing solar on schools. However not all Local Authorities have records of solar installations on schools in their area. Therefore it’s possible there are other installations out there

 

***Additional schools identified by Green Party Group on London Assembly

 

Editors Notes

Jenny is available for interview

(1) Friends of the Earth ‘Run on Sun’ https://www.foe.co.uk/page/supporters-run-sun

Data obtained from Freedom of Information requests to Local Authorities, combined with the records of several groups installing solar on schools. However not all Local Authorities have records of solar installations on schools in their area. Therefore it’s possible there are other installations out there.

(2) According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change most schools are able to accommodate a 25kWp system. At current tariff rates this could generate an annual income of £3,400. Most systems achieve a payback between 10-12 years and will generate revenue for another 8-10 years. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/301472/Power_to_the_Pupils_leaflet_-_7_April_2014.pdf

(3) Jenny wrote to Mayor Boris Johnson on 23 January 2015 to implement Jenny’s proposal for a Solar PV delivery Unit http://bit.ly/1zfOdPq . Jenny suggested London schools, the GLA estate and community energy sector as early priorities. Alongside this, the setting up of a steering group and chair who should be a known and respected figure within the sector with a record of delivery and influence to oversee its work programme.

(4) A motion agreed by Assembly Members on 29th January 2015 called on Mayor Boris Johnson to revise his annual Draft Consolidated Budget for 2015/16, to allocate funding for the proposed delivery unit - allowing London communities to harness the clean energy source. https://www.london.gov.uk/media/assembly-press-releases/2015/01/assembly-s-bright-idea-to-help-solar-energise-communities

(5) A motion unanimously agreed by Assembly Members on 24th February 2015, called on Mayor Boris Johnson to strongly consider using his 2015/16 budget to support schools installing solar PV panels. https://www.london.gov.uk/media/assembly-press-releases/2015/02/solar-will-save-schools-money-says-assembly