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Solar panels on new homes

20th April 2023

Letter published in West Sussex County Times, 20 April 2023

Dear Sir,

Solar panels on new homes

Promoting their Solar Together initiative, a ‘group-buying scheme which aims to make renewable energy more affordable’ (West Sussex County Times  6April 2023), West Sussex County Council has advised that by generating electricity from the sun, residents could reduce their annual carbon emissions by approximately one tonne each year and help West Sussex to become carbon neutral.

Moreover, research undertaken at Oxford University has found that UK households with solar PV self-consume 45% of their own solar generation on average and reduce annual electricity demand from the grid by 24%. With additional adjustments, this reduction of 24% can be increased to over 35% (Solar photovoltaic self-consumption in the UK residential sector: new estimates from a smart grid demonstration project, Energy Policy Vol 118, 2018, pages 482-491).

Despite the proven importance of solar PV in the fight against climate change, homes continue to be built without solar PV roof panels – with the approval of planning committees.

Will candidates who have put themselves forward for election on 4th May, and succeed in being elected in place of present incumbents, refuse to support development without solar PV roof panels?

Yours faithfully,

Dr R F Smith

Trustee CPRE Sussex