Rooftop solar could contribute 4GW of energy to help London reach net zero

Solar among eligible tech for Mayor of London’s Warmer Homes energy efficiency scheme

The No Constraints scenario would target 3.9GW of rooftop solar, and also provide the lowest cost pathway by 2050. Image: Greater London Authority.

Rooftop solar PV is expected to play a key role in London reaching net zero by 2030, and could contribute almost 4GW of clean energy.

In a new report from Element Energy, commissioned by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, four scenarios are laid out for decarbonising the capital.

Whilst all the scenarios – dubbed High Electrification, High Hydrogen, No Constraints and Accelerated Green – share aspects such as greater energy efficiency, behavioural change and greater electrification, they vary in the speed and technological choice.

Solar PV is expected to play a key role in the decarbonisation of both domestic and non-domestic buildings across all scenarios, with the two most ambitious setting out a target of 3.9GW by 2050. This would require more policy support and additional funding and financing, in particular to support community energy projects.

In the High Electrification and High Hydrogen scenarios solar PV is still expected to play a significant role, with a target of 2GW by 2050.

The Mayor of London has already launched a number of schemes to support solar power in the capital, most recently the Solar Skills London project, which provides funding for training in solar PV, energy storage and low carbon technologies.

Solar is also eligible for support under the Warm Homes Discount, with £51 million committed in 2021 for the rollout of energy efficiency technologies to low income London households.

Energy efficiency is outlined as a key area for development in Element Energy’s report, along with the rollout of electric vehicle charging, heat pumps and demand side response solutions.

“It’s clear the cost of inaction – to our economy, to livelihoods, to the environment and to the health of Londoners – would be far greater than the cost of transitioning to net zero and reducing toxic air pollution. That’s why I’m today beginning a conversation with Londoners, local government and businesses about the best way forward to create the green, sustainable city we all want to see,” said Khan.

Further coverage of the scenarios laid out in the report can be read on our sister site Current± and the full report can be read here.

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