Parliament considers solar powered Big Ben clock face

As part of parliament’s energy commitment, suggestions on how to save energy have been submitted, including the idea for the iconic landmark, Big Ben to upgrade to solar power.

The idea, which has been advocated by Sir Robert Rogers, clerk of the house of commons and chief executive, will now be discussed by the environment team in parliament. A decision on what changes it should implement will be taken in a couple of months, a spokesman for parliament, told Solar Power Portal. Built in 1859, Big Ben’s clock face could be solar powered, the idea was displayed on a placard with Rogers’ approval in Port Cullis House, to gain feedback on energy saving ideas in parliament from members.

A solar powered Big Ben clock face is one of many ideas to be discussed for a programme of initiatives within the next few months. Other ideas also include plans to install solar panels to some flat roofs on the Palace of Westminster in 2015.

A spokesman said: “Parliament has committed to improving its energy efficiency by 34% by 2020/21. Throughout February, parliamentary pass-holders were encouraged to support parliament’s energy commitment by submitting ideas on how parliament could save energy.”

Parliament has undertaken many measures to reach its carbon reduction goals, with more in development. It has already increased its recycling and reduced water waste, and is also hoping to install energy saving roof insulation by 2015, to reduce wasted heat.