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Monday, 16 February 2015

Greens call for more solar for London schools

Fewer than 7 per cent of schools in London have solar panels according to figures published by Jenny Jones. Jenny has sent a draft 'Mayoral Decision' she would like Boris Johnson to sign to set-up a Solar PV (Photovoltaic) Delivery Unit at City Hall. It would turn around London's poor track record, currently the lowest uptake of solar PV panels of any region on mainland Britain. The proposal forms part of the budget process for 2015/16, and would allocate £210,000 to a unit which would initially focus on deploying solar PV panels on London schools and the GLA Group's own estate, and also help set-up new community energy schemes.

Jenny Jones AM said: "We have the opportunity to kick-start a solar revolution in London and to transform our empty rooftops into mini power stations. The Mayor could play a critical role, setting up a delivery unit to help schools and communities bust through the barriers and get thousands of panels installed. Without decisive Mayoral intervention, London risks falling even further behind. Solar photovoltaics have the greatest potential of any renewable electricity generating technology in London and everybody should be benefitting from this clean energy source that not only cuts our bills, but our carbon emissions."

Solar PV Delivery Unit would co-ordinate; share best practice; encourage and help new entrants to overcome regulatory, contractual, ownership and financial barrier; identify opportunities for deploying solar PV and; ensure that London gets a proportionate share of available national and European Fund. It would be guided by a steering group with chair that is a recognised figure within the solar PV sector with record of delivery and influence.

Schools: Counting primary, secondary and independent schools, London has about 3,080 schools. However available information suggests that around 2001 schools in London have deployed solar PV, meaning that over 93 per cent of schools are missing out. Most schools are able to accommodate 25kWp system. At current tariff rates this could generate an annual income of £3,400

GLA estate: Huge variations occur across the different branches of the GLA. For instance 38 solar PV arrays have been fitted on London Fire brigade buildings, representing about a third of its buildings. In contrast across Transport for London's (TfL) 300 locations only 11 PV arrays have been installed with a 250kW capacity, and across the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) only 20 PV arrays with a 619kW capacity.