Bristol City Council charts its solar potential

Bristol City Council has become the first local authority in the country to release a detailed solar radiation map. Bristol residents can now estimate whether their house is suitable for solar panels at the click of a button.

Residents are being encouraged to enter their address on the interactive solar map to easily understand the solar potential of their property.

The innovative solar map uses colour coding to visually demonstrate each individual building's solar energy generation potential. After entering their address, users will be greeted with more detailed information, such as estimated system size, electricity generation and associated CO2 savings.

Council Leader, Barbara Janke, said: “This is another example of Bristol leading the way on the green agenda. We’re the first local authority to produce a solar map, the first to be building our own wind turbines and the first local authority outside London to be setting up our own energy services company.

“The work we’ve done on the solar map pulls together a full picture of the city’s solar potential. Anyone who lives in Bristol who is thinking about the possibility of installing solar electric or hot water panels can use this map quickly and easily to find out whether it’s going to be viable for them.

“Together with our other ambitious projects, it will help support Bristol’s growing environmental technologies sector providing a boost for jobs.”

The development of the map has revealed that around a third of all rooftops in Bristol are suitable for solar generation. The 80,000 city rooftops have the potential to generate 384GWh of electricity per year, enough to meet 25 percent of the city’s electrical requirements.

The estimates used to make the solar map were validated by local installers, community energy groups, Bristol University and other solar stakeholders, who, during the process formed the Bristol Solar Group.

James Lancaster, acting Chair of the group, said: "I am very pleased to see that Bristol City Council has produced a solar map for Bristol.Experience from other European cities shows that this can greatly speed up the uptake of installations.

“Bristol Solar Group is committed to increasing awareness that Bristol and the wider sub region is one of the UK's primary locations for high yield, cost-effective solar energy solutions. The group unites our fantastic local technology and installation expertise under one brand, supports existing solar projects and initiatives, helping develop them further wherever possible and helps to create and safeguard local jobs. We are helping local businesses and residents understand they have a real choice and this map is a great step forward."

The solar map can be found alongside the Council's comprehensive guidance on harnessing solar technology, financial support and planning, here.