31 May 2023
by Sarah Morgan

‘Untapped potential’ of commercial buildings discussed by UK solar taskforce

A UK solar taskforce highlighted the untapped potential of commercial buildings, schools, warehouses and car parks, as well as the possibility of floating solar for future energy needs.

© Photo by Bill Mead on Unsplash

The new taskforce led by Energy Minister Graham Stuart and Solar Energy UK chief executive Chris Hewett, is working in the context of the government’s target to increase solar capacity to 70GW by 2035.

Even when this target is met, the UK would be using only a very small proportion of its land mass for solar panels.

Therefore, the government has established a taskforce to drive further growth of solar power as part of Powering Up Britain, accepting the recommendation made by Chris Skidmore in his Independent Review of Net-Zero.

Minister for Energy Security and Net Zero Graham Stuart says, ‘Households across the UK are already doing their bit to provide cleaner, cheaper and more secure energy sources with the solar panels on their roofs – but with acres of rooftop space on car parks and supermarkets in every community, we can be doing even more.’

Part of the discussion at its first meeting was how to drive more rooftop installation, such as enabling cost reductions for households and businesses looking to install solar panels.

This would come on top of solar panels on the ground – with the taskforce united that the solar and farming sectors can support each other in meeting energy security goals and maintaining our country’s food security.

The taskforce also discussed plans to:

  • Publish a solar roadmap in 2024 to drive forward the actions needed to deliver the UK’s ambition to increase solar capacity by nearly five-fold by 2035.
  • Upskill and expand the solar workforce to meet increasing levels of demand, while creating well-paid long-term employment opportunities for Britain.
  • Identify opportunities to secure resilient supply chains and innovation within the global market, helping to generate opportunities for UK businesses to export their expertise around the world.