Green Party London Assembly Member, Jenny Jones is urging City Hall to setup a dedicated Solar PV Delivery Unit that would help boost London’s flagging solar deployment.

Jones is calling on Boris Johnson to commit to setting up a special Solar PV Delivery Unit at City Hall. Jones is pushing for £210,000 from the capital’s 2015/16 budget to be set aside in order create the unit which will be charged with boosting deployment of solar on London schools and the Greater London Authority (GLA) Group’s own estate.

Explaining the need for her proposal, Jones said: “We have the opportunity to kick-start a solar revolution in London and to transform our empty rooftops into mini power stations. The Mayor could play a critical role, setting up a delivery unit to help schools and communities bust through the barriers and get thousands of panels installed. Without decisive Mayoral intervention, London risks falling even further behind.

“Solar photovoltaics have the greatest potential of any renewable electricity generating technology in London and everybody should be benefitting from this clean energy source that not only cuts our bills, but our carbon emissions.”

According to figures produced by Jones, less than 7% of schools in London have solar panels installed. However, the potential for PV deployment on London schools is particularly high, with the capital boasting over 3,000 schools. The Green Party estimates that most schools could accommodate a 25kWp system.

The Green Party is also critical of the variation that exists in the adoption of solar across the GLA estate. For example, around a third of all London fire brigade buildings are partly powered by solar PV but just 11 solar arrays have been fitted on Transport for London’s 300-strong locations and just 20 solar arrays fitted across the Metropolitan Police Service.  

According to the latest statistics for solar PV deployment, London is behind Scotland and the North East of England in terms of installed solar capacity. Boris Johnson has previously stated that solar in London is never going to be “a big game-changer” because “of the difficulty of fitting photovoltaics (PV) in London by comparison with elsewhere in the country.  We have many more flats and much less roof space.  We have huge parts of the city that are already conservation areas where you cannot put in this stuff”.