Britain’s roofs can be a huge resource for solar energy
(The Guardian, 22 Dec 2023) Thousands of hectares of rooftops could be converted to help country achieve climate goals.
Roofs occupy an enormous amount of surface area in our cities and yet only a small fraction of this space is used for solar panels – and even less for green roofs, despite the obvious benefits.
When designed primarily to shelter buildings from the rain, wind and sun, roofs may not always be easy to adapt for greener uses – but many can.
There is the equivalent of thousands of hectares of suitable roofs pitched perfectly for solar panels. Most of these are empty, though solar electricity generation is cheaper than that from fossil fuels.
A recent example of such adaptation is at King’s College, Cambridge, where the ancient chapel’s east-west alignment made its roof perfect for generating electricity.