Solar Energy

DTI | 10 March 2003


Homes, schools, and leisure centres will soon be able to turn solar
energy into electricity, thanks to Government funding announced by
Energy Minister Brian Wilson today.

In all 18 building projects in England and Wales have been identified
to share £2 million of funding which will enable them to fit
photovoltaics – solar panels – to roofs and walls to generate power
from sunlight. The projects will have a combined output of 565 kWp,
enough to meet the electricity needs of 140 homes.

Brian Wilson said:

“The Energy White Paper delivered clear aims for renewable energy, to
achieve our ambition of doubling the share of renewables electricity
by 2020 from our 2010 target of 10%.

“These projects will help us achieve that goal. They demonstrate that
renewable energy sources can be used in any building from houses to
aquariums, anywhere in the country.

“New products and companies are entering the market all the time, and
costs are continuing to decline. I’m encouraged by the innovative
ideas and products that are helping to harness the power of the sun.”

These projects are the third set of proposals approved under the
DTI’s £20 million Photovoltaic Demonstration Programme, launched a
year ago.

The winning projects include:
- Science Museum, London: Up to £88,000 to fit a photovoltaic system
into the roof of the East Hall to generate 25kWp.
- The National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth: Up to £117,000 to install a
photovoltaic system in the roof that will generate 29.8kWp.
- Circle 33 Housing Trust, Cambridge: Up to £68,000 plan to install a
PV system into 16 low energy houses.
- Bryhyfryd School, Ruthin, Wales: Up to £104,000 to fit PVs into the
roof of a 20 classroom teaching block to generate 28.8 kWp.
- The Riding’s Housing Association, Potterton, Leeds: Up to £133,000
to install PVs in the roofs of a low cost housing development.

Photovoltaics are cells which generate electricity directly from
light and can be incorporated into building products for use as
roofing or cladding.

Notes to Editors

1. A list of all the projects is attached at Annex A. Total amounts
are subject to final revision.

2. Photovoltaics (PV) systems generate electricity directly from
light and may be incorporated into building products for use as
roofing or cladding. PV is a form of renewable energy suited to the
urban environment requiring no additional land area. They work best
in direct sunlight, but also work effectively on cloudy days.

3. Kilowatt peak (kWp) is the maximum output on a sunny day. Under UK
conditions, 1kWp of PV cells could be expected to produce around
750kW hours of electricity in a year. The average household uses
3,000-3,500 kW hours a year, a 2kWp system might meet about half
their demand.

4. The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Patricia Hewitt,
announced £20 million for the first phase of a major PV demonstration
programme on 26th March 2002. Prior to this announcement the
Government provided £5.4 million which has helped develop 500 solar
powered homes and £4.2 million for 18 solar powered buildings through
the DTI’s domestic and large scale field trials.

5. The bidding process for third round closed on 24 January with 32
applications received. 8 successful projects were announced under the
first call for projects under the £20 million fund (Press Notice of 1
August 2002) and 19 were approved under the second round announced on
27 November 2002.

6. The Renewables Obligation is the Government’s main plank in its
renewable energy policy – a 25-year obligation on licensed
electricity suppliers to secure a rising proportion of their sales
from eligible renewable sources. Our target is 10% renewables
electricity by 2010. The Government announced its proposals for the
Renewables Obligation on 5th October 2000 (News release P/2000/667).
The final Renewables Obligation was launched on April 2002 . Please
see website

7. For further information on the PV Major demonstration programme
contact Kelly Butler at the Energy Saving Trust,
Freephone public hotline on 0800 298 3978, website

Public Enquiries: 020-7215 5000
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