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New data shows disparity in council investment in renewables

Some councils have invested millions in solar energy while others have invested none, according to new analysis conducted by the Solar Centre. 

Using data collected by Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, the researchers found that 22 city councils have not invested any money in solar energy since 2015 – these councils included Birmingham, Sunderland and Wolverhampton.

In comparison, the largest investor into solar energy was the London Borough of Merton, who have spent £1.4m on solar energy in the past five and a half years. Proportionate to their housing and environmental budget, this was more than £130,000 per million.

The research also revealed that Newcastle has the most solar fitted buildings, with 1.032.

However, interesting by far the most energy produced for council use was in Peterborough. They have generated over 295 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) – though bear in mind we adjusted results per 100,000 capita for validity.

The researchers have highlighted that despite the apparent lack of investment, in many cases investments had been made prior to 2015 and several cities also revealed plans to invest in solar energy in the near future.

Brian Davenport, director of The Solar Centre, said: ‘All of us at The Solar Centre care greatly about the UK’s target of having net zero emissions by 2050, and we’re always interested to see council activity that helps towards reaching this goal.

‘Of course, there are many areas councils need to invest in besides solar, but it is always nice when we see the likes of Portsmouth, Merton and Plymouth continually showing passion and investment in solar energy in their city.’

To see the full data set for each city, please visit The Solar Centre’s dedicated webpage here.

In related news, floating solar farms could help to reduce the impacts of climate change on lakes and reservoirs, according to a new study published in the journal Solar Energy.

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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