An important part of UKWA’s role is to support members on their journey toward sustainability. Accordingly, the Association has commissioned a major research study to examine the case for putting solar panels on warehouse roofs across the UK.
Forecasts suggest that Solar PV deployment on rooftops in the UK is set to exceed 500MWdc in 2022, which reflects increasing awareness of the importance of the technology towards meeting net zero targets.
Although this figure includes residential, Solar PV appears to be an excellent choice for the industrial and commercial sector, particularly warehouse operators, whose premises invariably feature high, large scale flat roofs, which are perfect for such installation.
The rise in photovoltaic self-consumption has seen solar panels becoming an increasingly popular source of renewable energy, as part of the fight against climate change, but also in combatting rising energy costs and mitigating against risks associated with traditional energy supply. The boom in this type of self-consumption is largely the result of technological advances and a decrease in the price of the components needed for these installations.
The aim of UKWA’s research project is to assess the viability of energy transition and understand the challenges involved for warehouses, as well as evaluating the likely demand for future energy requirements from the sector in the light of wider spread EV and robotics, and comparing alternative solutions.
The rationale is two-fold, as UKWA CEO Clare Bottle explains. “Firstly, if, as we expect, our report concludes that Solar PV is a positive route to improved sustainability for warehouse operators, UKWA will develop a comprehensive ‘How to’ guide for members. Secondly, and arguably more importantly, we will have produced compelling evidence for government that demonstrates that solar PV on warehouses delivers clear environmental and cost benefits to UK plc.
In other words, UKWA will be well positioned to argue for government grants to support the sector in meeting its required targets. We will, I believe, be pushing against an open door.
These days, no business can be seen not to have a sustainability and net zero strategy. This might mean acting as a PPA off taker from a ‘green’ supplier, or becoming a micro-generator on-site. By far, the one with greatest potential for enhancing CSR responsibilities, while generating cost savings, is the second option; and from a micro-generation standpoint, it seems solar PV is the only serious renewable contender.”
Research project results will be available later this summer.