Frustration from the warehousing sector as potential for doubling UK solar capacity overlooked

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Responding to the Government’s new UK plan to reach net zero goals, the Chief Executive of the UK Warehousing Association (UKWA), Clare Bottle, has expressed mounting frustration that the potential offered by industrial properties in contributing to UK’s solar capacity is being ignored. Warehousing accounts for approximately a third of all commercial roof space.

Bottle says: “While we welcome renewed commitment to solar power, the focus has been on homes rather than on industrial buildings like warehouses, many of which have huge roof space.  At a time when warehousing and logistics is transitioning to electrification, consumption is rising along with prices.

Our recent report into Solar PV on warehouse rooftops confirms that not only would this provide a reliable source of energy at lower cost for businesses, but it could also generate sufficient extra power to double UK’s solar capacity in line with net zero targets.

“The UK’s 20% largest warehouses can provide 75million square metres of roof space, equivalent to the footprint of 500,000 houses.”

An independent research report, commissioned by the UK Warehousing Association in 2022, and produced by specialist consultancy Delta Energy & Environment (Delta-EE), shows:

  • UK warehousing has the roof space for up to 15GW of new solar power, which could:
  • Double UK’s solar capacity
  • Reduce carbon emissions by 2 million tonnes/year
  • Cut warehousing electricity costs from between 40-80%
  • Save the warehousing sector £3bn/year
  • Provide a more secure power supply
  • Enable the sector to become a net producer of green electricity

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