Bristol has twice as many photovoltaic panels on houses than the UK average. It is one reason why Bristol is becoming the country’s leading city for smart and sustainable energy.
Department of Energy and Climate Change data shows that in December 2014 Bristol had 2814 domestic PV installations, double the British average.
National statistics reveal that the uptake of solar panels accelerated after the launch of Feed-in-Tariffs in April 2010, when home-owners could earn money, for up to five megawatts of micro-generation.
Bristol was slightly ahead of the pack before Feed-in-Tariffs, but shot-out into the lead with the government stimulus, showing the city’s green consciousness. This was coupled with the City Council’s investments in solar energy on council-owned building and schools. The number of installations raised intensely in 2012, when a massive programme lead to solar panels on the roofs of 35 schools.
Bristol was the first UK’s city to put every home on a solar map; the first to develop and own wind turbines and the UK’s first European Green Capital in 2015. The city aspires to generate one GW of electricity by photovoltaic panels, a quantity equivalent to the output of an average nuclear power station, by 2020. With this in mind, the Council launched a new programme as part of the European Green Capital, to create two MW by the end of 2015, distributed into micro-generation. The installations will mainly involve a simple 4kWP system which, in South West England, has the potential to generate the energy a home requires.
South West England is leading the boom in solar panel installations with 391 panels for every 10,000 households, which far exceeds numbers in the rest of the country. With 94,000 solar panel installations, the region has more than the 17% of England’s solar potential. This is one of the many reasons why South West is considered the UK’s first region for renewable energy generation.
Simone Grassi, Bristol Is Open
Domestic Solar Pv installations, DECC
Solar PV panel deployment in Bristol since the Feed In tariff, Bristol City Council Open Data portal