At its first meeting, the UK government’s new Solar Taskforce has highlighted the potential of commercial buildings, schools and car parks for solar energy, as well as the possibility of floating solar, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) said today.
The discussions also included plans to publish a solar roadmap next year towards achieving the UK’s ambition for 70 GW solar power by 2035, representing a near fivefold increase of solar capacity.
The taskforce brings together government, industry and regulatory participants. The government has committed its creation in line with the recommendations of Chris Skidmore’s Independent Review of Net Zero.
DESNZ said that there are already more than one million homes in the UK with solar roofs. According to Minister for Energy Security and Net Zero Graham Stuart, “with acres of rooftop space on car parks and supermarkets in every community, we can be doing even more.”
The UK has installed over 19,000 smaller-scale rooftop arrays in March alone and if the rate continues, 2023 will end with 230,000 additions, exceeding the current record set in 2011, the government noted.
“Solar is the most popular form of power generation amongst the British public and consumer demand has never been higher, though the rate of rooftop installation must double to help hit 70GW by 2035. The number of solar farms will also have to increase significantly,” commented Chris Hewett, chief executive of Solar Energy UK and co-chair of the taskforce.