British Minister Wants “Thousands” of Solar Roofs

Solar power will be installed on 400 homes in Britain as part of a £4 million government grant program.

LONDON, England, UK, 2001-10-30 [] Energy minister Brian Wilson says 380 houses, apartments and bungalows will be built in 23 housing developments, from Belfast in Northern Ireland to Peterborough in East Anglia. The houses will have photovoltaic roofs and are part of a larger solar roof demonstration program with a three year budget of £10 million. It will also receive a share of the £100 million renewables fund announced by Prime Minister Tony Blair in March. The PV projects were given the money following a bidding process that opened earlier this year. Initially, £3 million was allocated but so many eligible proposals were submitted that an additional £1 million was provided to support five more developments (83 homes) on top of the original 18 (292 homes). “I am determined to give real meaning to all the talk about renewable energies,” says Wilson. “This £4 million will result in hundreds of households being in the frontline of our commitment to solar energy.” “These projects will provide the right learning experience before the UK embarks on a much larger installation program,” he adds. “I want to see thousands, rising to tens of thousands of roofs covered by solar panels every year over the next ten years, rivaling the large programs in Germany and Japan.” The British projects use a variety of PV panels, including the ‘Clapham Folly’ in Bedfordshire, where Persimmon Homes and Solapak will fit 19 homes in a larger development with the new Intersolar Group Electra-Slates. This system integrates the PV into a slate roofing system, providing architectural integration and rated capacity of 20 kWp. The British government is expecting to create a £1 billion market for renewable energy by 2010, driven mainly by the renewables obligation that forces suppliers to supply 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. Also, £260 million of grants for renewables have been provided over the next three years.
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