News Article

Analysis Of UK Commercial Roof Space Shows Solar PV Film Can Achieve Net Zero Without Greenfield Sites


Power Roll, the developer of ultra-low cost and lightweight flexible film for energy generation and storage, has concluded that commercial roof space can easily support the levels of solar PV required to meet the UK's net-zero targets - without putting further pressure on greenfield sites.

The Climate Change Committee in its Sixth Carbon Budget states that 75 GW - 90 GW will be required to achieve net zero under a range of scenarios.

Development of solar farms is growing rapidly across the UK. According to research by Solar Media, the cumulative pipeline of UK solar farms has reached 11.6 GW across 469 sites, which includes 4 GW of new sites being scoped or put into full application over the past six months. Typically, developers require about 2 hectares (5 acres) of land per megawatt of solar power, which means an average 50 MW solar farm can occupy up to 250 acres of land.

In a recent call for evidence, BEIS is seeking input from the industry on how to deliver a high renewable, net-zero electricity system. One of the potential barriers the call for evidence raises is community acceptance for renewables schemes. Some recent applications for mega-scale solar farms on greenfield sites have attracted criticism from environmental groups.

“The public is very supportive of solar PV, but that may change if we continue to pursue mega-scale projects that use hundreds of acres of greenfield land,” commented Neil Spann, managing director, Power Roll. “We do, however, have a lot of ‘big sheds' in the UK and that means a lot of roof space with the potential to accommodate solar on the scale we need to achieve net zero.”

Power Roll's analysis shows that there are around 2.5 billion square meters of south-facing commercial roof space in the UK, which could support over 400 GW of solar power; well in excess of the latest estimates of the capacity required to deliver net zero.

Spann continued: “We recognise that many roofs are not strong enough to support traditional heavy crystalline silicon PV panels. There are flexible PV technologies on the market, but they are too expensive for anything other than niche use. However, with lightweight, affordable solar film we can start to deploy solar PV at scale on commercial buildings - even making use of non-load bearing roofs.”

Power Roll is commercialising an innovative and ultra-lightweight solar film with a target manufacturing cost 20 times cheaper than existing flexible solar PV, which will deliver the lowest levelised energy cost of any solar technology.

106 MW BayWa R.e. Solar Farm Now Supplying Green Energy To Northern Victoria
Italian Solar Acquisition Focusses On Local Biodiversity And Agricultural Benefits
Schletter Mounting Systems For EnBW’s 300 MWp Project East Of Berlin
Exus Annouces Development Of 85MW Wind And Solar Hybrid Project In Portugal
IBC SOLAR And Enphase Energy Enter Into Distribution Partnership For Microinverters And Storage Systems
Fujitsu, AutoGrid To Boost Renewable Energy Use In Japan
BayWa R.e. Expands Agri-PV Pilot Setup And Completes First Fruitvoltaic Solar Farm
IEA Predicts Record Year For Renewables In 2021
SSE Renewables Chooses SEANEX Connection System For Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm Project
Sonnedix Closes EUR 172M Financing For 55MW Sonnedix Hitachi Juo In Japan
Q CELLS Supplies 287 MW Of Modules For Large-scale Solar Project In Angola
Accelerated Planning Of Solar Systems: IBC SOLAR’s Planning Tool PV Manager
World-leading Circular Solution For Charging Of Vehicles Inaugurated
AEROCOMPACT Presents Piling Systems For Medium-sized Solar Parks Onto The Market
Midsummer Increases Solar Panel Orders By 550 Percent
Aquila European Renewables Income Fund Expands Portuguese Solar Portfolio
Solliance Partners Make 28.7 Percent Efficient Tandem PVs
First Solar Series 6 CuRe Has Industry’s Lowest Warranted Degradation Rate
170MW Sonnedix Atacama Solar PV Plant Inaugurated By President Sebastián Piñera Of Chile
IIT Delhi Chooses Samco System For Solar Cells
Solar Thermal Software Expanded In New Version T*SOL 2021
40 MW Energy Storage Project Highlights Wärtsilä’s Technical Capabilities
Power Roll,Thermax Global Target Market For Solar Film In India
IIT Delhi Selects Samco Multi-Chamber CVD System

Search the news archive

To close this popup you can press escape or click the close icon.
Register - Step 1

You may choose to subscribe to the Solar + Power Magazine, the Solar + Power Newsletter, or both. You may also request additional information if required, before submitting your application.

Please subscribe me to:


You chose the industry type of "Other"

Please enter the industry that you work in:
Please enter the industry that you work in:
{taasPodcastNotification} Array
Live Event