Solar power is definitely gaining momentum in the UK. In the past two years alone solar output in the UK has grown by a whopping 41 times! And we at 10:10 couldn’t be happier. In fact, our latest project, called Solar Schools, is all about getting schools across the UK to generate their own power.
Most of the times, pv cells are tucked out of sight and you could be in a solar-powered building without even knowing it! In fact, we bet you’d be surprised to find out that these places have gone solar as well!
No, there isn’t a gigantic solar panel above all of Germany, if that’s what you were wondering. But the country, which was experimenting with feed-in tariffs as far back as 1990, did break a world record in solar energy production during one weekend in spring of this year. At midday on 26 May, Germany's 1.2 million photovoltaic systems produced 22 gigawatts of solar energy per hour. That’s 50% of the entire nation’s needs and the equivalent of 20 nuclear power plants.
Germany's solar capacity is almost that of all the world combined, and they're aiming high with their green aspirations. They are going to invest a whopping $263 billion in transformation of energy sources in order to reach their greenhouse gas reduction target of 35% below 1990 levels by 2020.
Sainsbury’s has experimented with a few different taglines over the years. In the 1880s it was “quality perfect, prices lower”, then in the 1950s with the innovation of self-service shops it was “ help yourself to the best food at Sainsbury’s”. Until recently it was “Try something new today”,but we reckon it should be something along the lines of “Solar-powered quality”! Why? because as of late, Sainsbury’s is the proud owner of the largest solar array in Europe. Around 170 shops in the UK are powered by a grand total of 69,5000 solar panels. Estimated emissions reduction? 6,800 tonnes a year! And they're not stopping there. More panels are on the way to the chain’s branches to help achieve their “20 by 20” sustainability plan goals.
Next time you’re traveling through the newly refurbished and very uniquely designed King’s Cross rail station in London, look up.
What you’ll see above you is the new 240 kWp photovoltaic glazing system forming part of the curved roof of the historic Victorian building that’s recently been transformed into a beautiful futuristic space.The array of pv cells set into nearly 1400 windows is expected to save a massive 100 tonnes of carbon emissions a year while generating 10% of the station’s electricity.
Not the first place that pops to mind when thinking about green technologies, and yet it looks like the Vatican is going to become the first nation state to be completely solar-powered.
The smallest state in the world is spending $660 million on a massive 100 megawatt pv installation that will potentially provide electricity to 40,000 people, which is much more than what the 900 residents of the Vatican require. To top it off, the new acquisition is expected to cut 91,000 tons of carbon emissions and make Vatican city into a net energy exporter.
A 700 year-old fortress? Check! Medieval tower and dungeon? Check! an array of solar panels?? Check! Wait, what?! Yes, it’s a solar castle. Chirk Castle in Wales has been fitted with solar panels thanks to an award from the National Trust’s green energy fund.
The castle is owned by the national trust but some of the descendants of Sir Thomas Myddleton, who bought the castle in 1595, still live in the building. The estimation is that the solar system is expected to generate 8,000 kW of energy and save the castle £3,000 and 4,000kg of carbon in one year.