Buckingham Palace could go solar as part of £369 million refit

Solar PV panels could be installed on flat areas of the roof of Buckingham Palace as part of a £369 million refit of the iconic London building.

Today the Royal Trustees published a report outlining how Buckingham Palace is in need of reservicing to “future proof” the Queen’s residence. Included in which is a section on energy efficiency improvements, detailing a number of ways in which alternative sources of energy could be installed to supplement its mains power.

Having considered various proposals from outside consultants, the Royal Household has selected solar PV panels and an aerobic digestion unit in its reservicing programme.

The report reveals that flat areas of the Buckingham Palace roof could receive solar panels so that they are not visible from the ground or principal rooms in the palace itself, and could produce just less than 5% of the building’s total energy demand.

“…This could increase to 10% over time as power consumption reduces and as the carbon content in grid electricity is lowered, in accordance with government legislation. This option will be a viable, credible and potentially valuable addition to the Palace, particularly in terms of protecting the environment,” the report states.

An aerobic digestion unit has also been proposed due to the technology being a “low capital cost solution” that would reduce the Palace’s carbon footprint by circa 5%.

Solar thermal panels, ground source heat pumps, electrical heating and “fuel cells” were also identified as possible power supplies in the future, and the Royal Trustees will considered them “as technology develops”.

While no timeframe has been attached to any possible solar installation, the Palace expects the full scope of works to be completed within ten years.