Solar power

Definition: Solar power is energy harnessed from the sun's rays. It is a renewable energy source, meaning it is a cleaner, more sustainable alternative to burning fossil fuels. Solar power produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation, consumes no water, and uses relatively little land space.

Large-scale solar generation can either use the sun’s heat or light to create energy. Some solar systems use heat, while others transform light energy into electricity. Most generators use solar cells or photovoltaics, but solar water heating and solar furnaces can also be utilised. Solar cells are the most common form of solar energy and can be organised as offsite solar farms or placed into business operations or on households as small-scale arrays, usually on roofs.

How does solar power work?

Solar power is commonly generated from cells that are small in size, but are often used in larger units called solar modules. These modules can also be coupled into bigger units known as solar panels.

Certain materials exhibit properties that allow them to absorb light photons from the sun and release electrons. Once captured, the electrons can form an electric current to be used as electricity. Silicon is the most popular semi-conductor for solar cells, and is capable of freeing up electrons from the absorbed sunlight.

The internal organisation of silicon atoms mean that the electrons are effectively funnelled into a directional flow, as different atoms become positively or negatively charged. This creates an electrical field across the cell. As a semi-conductor, the silicon can maintain this balance, allowing the atoms to build up an electric charge which is transferred to power equipment.

Solar can also be used to conserve gas and electricity to heat water, although this is usually a domestic application. Solar is used to heat water in glass panels located on a roof, which is pumped to the panels via pipes. This helps the cut energy bills on energy that would otherwise be used on a central heating system.

What is the market size for solar power?

The amount of solar power added worldwide soared by 50% in 2016, as countries added more than 76GW in capacity. Globally there is now 305GW of solar power capacity, a huge increase on the 50GW capacity at the beginning of the decade.

The UK is considered a leader for the European solar market, accounting for 29% of installed capacity in 2016 alone, followed by Germany with 21% and France at 8.3%. However, a turbulent policy environment meant that the UK added just half of the solar capacity of 2015 levels.

In total, solar capacity has reached 10GW across the UK. And, for six months of the year, the 6,964 gigawatt hours (GWh) generated by solar - 5.4% of the UK’s electricity demand – outperformed the 6,342GWh generated by coal.

 

What are the business benefits of installing solar power?

Solar power benefits from a rapidly shrinking capital expenditure. 2016 marked the first time that the new solar capacity added has been greater than any other electricity-producing technology, because of favourable economic outputs.

Provided that businesses can overcome the capital hurdle, they should consider whether ground-mounted or roof panels are desirable. as a general guide, one square metre of solar panel equates to 150W of power, so businesses should ensure they have adequate space beforehand.

If solar generation does prove worthwhile, the benefits will vary. As well as lowering carbon emissions, businesses can cut down on purchasing costs for electricity, and the growing popularity of energy storage creates scope for businesses to generate income by sending surplus renewable energy back to the grid or storing for later use.

Solar panels don’t require much maintenance once installed, making them a popular choice for all types of businesses. However, panels should be kept clean, otherwise efficiency levels could fall by 30%. Businesses must also consider that solar power is intermittent, meaning that it won’t produce at night, while yields drop on cloudy days.

What are the costs of installing solar power?

Solar costs have fallen by more than 80% in less than decade, making the technology the world’s cheapest form of renewable energy.

For a small commercial 5-9kW system, upfront costs range between £8,000-£14,500 while a larger 50kW system costs around £70,000. If self-funding, expect around a 10-year payback on a mid-range system. If financed through a third party Power Purchase Agreement for 10-20 years, a business should expect to see at least a 5% reduction on its energy bill in the first year.

What are the business requirements when installing solar power?

For roof solar, a survey must be conducted and ownership and permission rights need to be established if a business is operating in a multi-occupancy building. Ground solar also requires title searches. While many sites have little issue receiving permitted consent, planning consent can depend on a range of factors, such as if glare from the panels would impact surrounding areas. This a common hurdle near airport runways.

For landowners such as farmers who are seeking to implement solar fields, planning application fees can potentially reach £250,000 and the local authority will have to perform a site visit during assessment.

What is the policy backdrop for solar power?

Government subsidies for solar PV have drastically reduced due to Feed-in Tariff (FITs) rate regression, but can still provide a modest contribution to cost savings. FiTs are paid for every kWh generated.

Certain criteria must be met to be FITs eligible and installers must be Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) registered.

The overhaul of the business rates system in April this year also placed extra pressures on businesses with onsite solar systems. The draft rateable values for 2017 for all properties that pay business rates and owners of solar panels are split into two classes of those who mainly export and those who utilise the energy onsite.

Most solar systems exporting to the grid or via a Power Purchase Agreement to tenants will see a decrease in business rates, reflecting falling costs, and lower rates of subsidy, thanks to an agreement with the Solar Trade Association (STA). However, businesses that use most of the power themselves are faced with a six to eight-fold increase in business rates.

For solar thermal energy, the Government has dropped plans to remove it from the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme and the technology will receive the same level of support (19.74p/kWh) over seven years.

See also: Photovoltaic

See also: Onsite generation

See also: Renewable energy

More detail

edie explains: Onsite generation

Related items

edie Explains: Solar PPAs

A power purchase agreement (PPA), is a contract between an energy generator and an energy buyer or ‘end-user’. PPAs can provide a fixed price for energy generated over the duration of the contract, removing exposure to energy price volatility and allowing for accurate and predictable cost planning.

edie Explains: ESOS Phase 2

This edie Explains guide, produced in association with Schneider Electric, will help organisations in their preparations to comply with the second phase of the UK Government's Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS).

Last week BP announced it will add rapid charging points for electric cars at its UK petrol stations within the next two months

BP set to 'embrace low-carbon world' with $500m investment

BP has pledged to invest $500m into low-carbon solutions after posting a strong financial performance in 2017.

The North West Cambridge Development is one of the largest capital project in the University’s history

University of Cambridge installs 1,500 solar panels at new district

Almost 1,500 solar panels have been installed at the University of Cambridge's new 150-hectare district, with the array expected to slash energy usage by more than 298MWh a year.

Michael Lewis was speaking on the second day of edie's 2018 Sustainability Leaders Forum at the Business Design Centre in London

From environmental expert to CEO: E.ON boss Michael Lewis reflects on his remarkable sustainability journey

EXCLUSIVE: Michael Lewis explains how his rise to the top at E.ON has intertwined with the company's transition from a fossil fuel-based power generator to a provider of sustainable energy solutions.

Critics have warned that the levies will stifle investment in US solar projects, while US manufacturers will be unable to scale up to meet any new demand

Trump Administration's 'safeguard' tariff set to damage US solar sector

President Donald Trump has moved to safeguard domestic solar manufacturers by placing a 30% tariff on imported solar modules, however critics believe that it will inadvertently stifle manufacturers that are unable to scale-up to cope with demand.

Customers could make up to 66% savings in their energy bills, Nissan said. Photo: Nissan

Nissan unveils energy storage and solar solution for UK homes

Car giant Nissan has launched an "all-in-one" energy solution for UK homes, combining solar panels with an energy storage system.

Rising populations and increased wealth in non-OECD nations will drive energy demand, which will offset emission reductions

Report: Global emissions to plateau in 2030, but Paris goals out of reach

New insight from business advisors McKinsey Energy Insights has suggested that "major shifts" in the energy landscape driven by renewables and electric vehicles (EVs) will see global emissions plateau in 2030, but progress is nowhere near close to the 2 degrees Paris Agreement target.

The plant generates approximately 65GWh of solar energy annually, saving more than 21,000 tonnes of carbon emissions as a result

Shell inks five-year deal with England's largest solar power plant

Shell Energy Europe has agreed a five-year supply deal to source renewable power from the second largest solar power plant in the UK.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) insists that new policies will be required to close the remaining “emissions gap”

Clean Growth Strategy 'not enough' to meet UK's carbon targets, climate advisers warn

Urgent action is needed to flesh out current plans in the Clean Growth Strategy in order to meet the UK's fourth and fifth carbon budgets, the Government's climate change watchdog has cautioned.

The average cost of electricity from onshore wind is said to have fallen by 23% in the last seven years, with projects now routinely commissioned at around four cents/kWh

All renewables to compete on cost with fossil fuels by 2020, says IRENA

A fresh report has predicted that all renewable energy technologies will compete, and even undercut, fossil fuels on price within the next two years.

The smarter sustainability reporting handbook

A new era is upon us: the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Modern Slavery Act (MSA) and the Task Force on Climate- related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) have together paved the way for an entirely new approach to corporate sustainability.

The project will deliver annual return rates of 11.4% over a 20-year timeframe – a discounted net value of more than €8.3m

Amazon completes lucrative solar roof installation

Online retailer Amazon has had a 964 kWp rooftop solar system installed at a new logistics centre in central Italy, as the company continues its transition to source 100% renewable electricity.

Taking the lead on energy: 10 business examples of low-carbon innovation

The global energy system is undergoing a radical transition. Renewable energy costs are tumbling and new approaches to energy management such as battery storage and demand response are offering new ways for organisations to operate more sustainably.

Over the last five years, the CDC has made an average annual return on net assets of 12.9%

UK strengthens green finance links in India

The UK's development finance institution has announced the formation of an independent solar and wind generation company that will focus on developing renewable capacity across India and other South Asia nations.

The project has kickstarted with the purchase of the 5MW Newton Downs solar farm near Plymouth from renewable electricity supplier Good Energy

New £40m partnership to help UK communities take over solar farms

A £40m investment partnership has been launched with the aim of helping communities take ownership of solar farms across the country.

Since 2012, Britain has halved its emissions in the electricity sector and now ranks as the seventh cleanest power system in the world.

UK enjoys 'greenest year ever' in 2017

Britain achieved its 'greenest year ever' in 2017 thanks to 13 new records across the clean energy sector, according to analysis from WWF.

For businesses, energy storage helps to maintain reliable supply, reduce wastage and save money

Integrated storage and renewables tipped to be worth $23bn by 2026

The global energy storage and renewables integration (ESRI) will be worth more than $23bn by 2026, according to new analysis from clean energy researchers.

The homes will be built on site at Citu’s Climate Innovation District in Leeds, which acts as the first low-carbon neighbourhood in the UK

Citu aims to 'disrupt' construction industry with low-carbon housing scheme

Urban developer Citu has unveiled the first glimpses of a timber-framed housing system that is up to ten times more energy efficient than standard UK homes, with production practices also able to reduce the carbon footprint of construction by 24,000 tonnes annually.

The three-year development represents a £90m investment from AccorHotels, and the building was delivered on time and to budget

In practice: AccorHotels' new project targeting BREEAM excellent certification

Ahead of edie's flagship Sustainability Leaders Awards in January, edie is taking a closer look at some of the projects initiatives that have been deemed worthy of a finalist position by our expert judges. Up next: AccorHotels' new London hotel.

Hewett will begin his new role at the start of January 2018. In the meantime, he will continue in his position leading on policy for the STA

Solar Trade Association names Chris Hewett as new chief

Chris Hewett has been handed the role of chief executive of the Solar Trade Association (STA).

Nissan is enabling the wider public to participate in the project, and people can purchase bonds at €25 that offer a minimum price per kWh over the lifetime of the project

Nissan starts construction on largest community solar roof in the Netherlands

Electric vehicle (EV) pioneer Nissan has begun construction on the largest collective solar roof in the Netherlands, which will provide enough renewable electricity to power 900 homes once it is completed in May 2018.

Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered the 2017 Autumn Budget to a jubilant House of Commons

Budget 2017: Chancellor takes action on air quality, electric vehicles and plastic waste

Chancellor Philip Hammond has today pledged to build an economy "fit for the future" by announcing new air quality funding, tax incentives for electric cars, and measures to combat plastic waste in his 2017 Autumn Budget.

Total back-up capacity needed in 2040 is expected to remain at 2017 levels of 70GW

Balancing act: Storage and flexible energy vital to UK’s renewables tipping point

The cost of generating energy from wind and solar in the UK is expected to halve by 2040, but the expected future power system volatility will lead to more economic opportunities for flexible energy sources and storage capacity.

Renewable energy in the supply chain

This new report focuses on the opportunity for companies to amplify their carbon reduction efforts by driving renewables through their supply chains. Given how easy it is to choose renewable electricity in the UK, businesses could be doing more to engage with their suppliers.

The REA believes that the decline in growth stemmed from Government policies restricting routes to markets for solar PV technology

Shrinking solar deployment darkens UK's record low-carbon electricity mix

Despite low-carbon sources providing more than half of all UK energy generation for the second time, the Government has been urged to address policy barriers that have "unnecessarily impeded" the development of solar technologies over the last two years.

The Kennedy project will generate around 210,000MWh of electricity annually

Could Tesla's world-first hybrid energy project modernise electricity grids?

Following the deal to develop a world-first renewable energy project that combines wind, solar and battery storage in Australia, automaker and energy disruptor Tesla has been invited to showcase the "power and scalability" of its products in hurricane-hit Puerto Rico.

ENGIE has a goal of providing 20 million people access to decarbonised and decentralised energy by 2020

Utility giant acquires off-grid solar specialists Fenix International

French utility giant ENGIE is continuing its transition away from fossil fuels, after announcing the acquisition of a next generation energy company that offers decentralised solar solutions to communities across Africa.

A goal is in place to have 500 buildings fitted with solar panels by 2020, and 350 projects have so far been completed

Target commits to 100% renewables as part of science-based targets approach

Clothing giant Target has unveiled a revamped climate policy that will see the retailer commit to the Science-Based Targets Initiative to reduce emissions by 25% and source 100% renewable electricity "in the coming years".

More than 3,600 solar panels were installed as part of the project, and will generate approximately 940,000kWh of electricity annually

In practice: UK's largest landlord-funded distribution warehouse rooftop solar installation

The landlord/tenant relationship can be a barrier when it comes to sustainability and onsite generation, but both Dixons Carphone and LondonMetric will benefit from the new solar installation at a distribution warehouse in Newark.

Autarco insists that end users will no longer have to settle for an expected guarantee without sufficient protection of their bottom-line investment

Lloyd's of London first insurer to back kWh guarantee for solar installations

Businesses can now receive a kWh performance guarantee for solar fittings after PV manufacturer Autarco launched a new assurance for its PV systems.

The projects form part of Nissan’s “revolutionary” mobility plan, which aims to integrate EVs into electricity grids to offer incentives for consumers

Nissan to pilot microgrid trials in 2018

Nissan will trial and assess microgrid systems across Europe in 2018, to examine how local communities can gain access to sustained energy sources, by combining renewable energy and battery storage technologies.

The amount of renewable energy capacity forecast globally in 2022 has been revised upwards on last year’s forecast

Time to shine: Solar power is fastest-growing source of new energy

Solar power was the fastest-growing source of new energy worldwide last year, outstripping the growth in all other forms of power generation for the first time and leading experts to hail a "new era".

The launch will help Anesco realise its plan to have the largest portfolio of energy storage in the UK set up and running by the end of next year

Anesco unveils UK's first subsidy-free farm

Renewable energy developer Anesco has today (26 September) heralded a "landmark" achievement with the launch of the UK's first solar farm to operate without a Government subsidy.

The investigation revolved around Section 1603 – a programme set up that allowed solar companies to receive federal grants equal to 30% of the cost of a solar installation

Tesla-owned SolarCity agrees to $30m settlement over solar grant allegations

The solar company acquired by Tesla in 2016 has agreed to pay almost $30m to resolve allegations that it violated a claims act to generate more money through a US-based solar deployment programme.

EXCLUSIVE: edie Explains Solar PPAs guide published

A power purchase agreement (PPA), is a contract between an energy generator and an energy buyer or 'end-user'. PPAs can provide a fixed price for energy generated over the duration of the contract, removing exposure to energy price volatility and allowing for accurate and predictable cost planning.

Drax has previously suggested that the biomass conversion of three of its power plant units will cut 12mtCO2e per year from the power station's operations

Drax eyes battery storage to accompany gas and biomass conversions

UK power station operator Drax plans to complement its ongoing biomass conversions with gas and battery storage options at two coal power units, although new research that wind and solar are a more cost-effective solution has reignited the debate over biomass use.

Energy consumption at the 54,000-seater stadium surges during football matches and events. Image: Amsterdam ArenA

Nissan LEAF batteries to power up Amsterdam ArenA's energy storage system

Nissan and power management company Eaton will implement one of Europe's largest commercial energy storage systems, after striking a deal to install a 3MW system of electric vehicle (EV) batteries at the car park of the Amsterdam ArenA stadium.

More than 40 social landlords including local authorities will be involved across England and Wales. Photo: Solarplicity

£1bn solar project set to power 800,000 UK homes

More than 800,000 low-income UK households will have access to cheap solar electricity in the next five years thanks to a £1bn Government-led programme.

Audi is aiming for almost the entire roof surface to be covered with solar cells in the future, with the generated electricity used to supply a vehicle’s air-conditioning system and seat heaters

Audi designing solar roof for future electric vehicles

German carmaker Audi has teamed up with a solar-cell specialist to develop a solar roof which will the extend the range of its electric vehicles (EVs).

Sheffield Solar worked with the National Grid for two years to develop real-time generation estimates from solar photovoltaic systems in the UK, and can now forecast in advance

New forecast system to boost efficiency and reduce costs of solar energy

Researchers at the University of Sheffield have developed a forecasting system designed to boost energy generation from solar systems, which could boost the efficiency of the electricity system and help companies and households reduce costs.

Bywaters has reduced its carbon emissions by around 45% and saved more than 640 tonnes of CO2 since February 2016

In practice: London's largest solar retrofit project

Waste management firm Bywaters has dramatically reduced its energy usage and achieved near self-sufficiency following the delivery of a 1MW solar retrofit project at its plant in East London.

Home Depot has a target in place to source 135MW of renewable energy by 2020

Home Depot to fit retail stores with solar panels and Tesla Powerpacks

The world's largest home improvement retailer, Home Depot, has signed an agreement with GE and Tesla to create "mini solar farms" at 50 stores in the US.

Around 80,000 solar panels installed at the Moray site

Scotland's largest solar farm given go-ahead

Planning permission has been granted for what will be Scotland's largest solar farm, a 20MW project in the north-east of the country.

The new solar PV system consists of 2,902 individual panels, each of which measures 1.6 m², which will supply 39% of the daytime electricity used in the mall areas of the centre

'The jewel in the crown': Landsec drives towards science-based target with Britain's biggest shopping centre solar installation

The UK's largest commercial property developer has today (11 August) flicked the switch on a giant rooftop solar system at a shopping centre in Leeds, kicking off a 12-month investment programme in onsite sustainability across its estate.

Smurfit Kappa's €134m (£120m) investment in new technologies at its Nettingsdorf Paper Mill will significantly reduce emissions while increasing production output

In practice: Smurfit Kappa's £120m onsite sustainability drive

With one eye on a key carbon reduction goal for 2020, paper-based packaging company Smurfit Kappa recently undertook a multi-million-euro investment into new boiler and steam turbine systems at one of its major manufacturing facilities in Austria which will significantly reduce emissions.

British Land’s energy efficiency programme has already delivered £13m of gross savings for its occupiers

British Land completes major retail rooftop solar project

Top property development firm British Land has completed the installation of one of the UK's largest retail rooftop solar projects, which will deliver 22% of the site's annual electricity demand during the summer months.

Bond financing will be launched on the company’s new crowdfunding platform Mongoose Crowd, which has already raised more than £1m for green energy projects in the UK since June

Mongoose Energy secures UK's biggest community energy deal

Mongoose Energy has finalised a deal to finance the UK's biggest community energy project, a 'solar plus battery' farm in Warwickshire.

(L to R) Octopus Energy founder Greg Jackson, Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger and Chief Executive Officer Ivan Gazidis

Arsenal's Emirates Stadium inks deal to source 100% renewable energy

Arsenal Football Club's 60,000-seater stadium in North London has become the first Premier League stadium to source 100% of its electricity needs from renewables, after the club extended its supplier deal with Octopus Energy.

The news is a timely boost for the solar industry, with project deployment at a seven-year low

Solar energy storage systems secure reduced VAT rate

Householders installing a storage system to integrate with a newly-purchased solar photovoltaic systems have been greeted with a reduced VAT of 5%, after the Solar Trade Association (STA) provided evidence to the HMRC.

Onsite generation can help businesses save money on energy bills and even generate income by selling surplus energy back into the grid

edie publishes free business guide to onsite energy generation

Organisations and professionals with an interest in producing and consuming energy at a particular location away from the grid now have access to a free, comprehensive 'edie explains' guide which answers all of the key questions surrounding onsite generation.

edie explains: Onsite generation

This edie explains business guide, produced in association with E.ON, provides an in- depth summary of onsite generation, which allows businesses to make and use their own energy at a particular location, rather than buying that energy through the grid.

A more sustainable energy system is being driven by the rapidly improving economics of renewable power, supported by cost-effective energy storage and the emergence of electric vehicles

Energy industry must embrace '3D transition' to sustainable future, say former Big Six bosses

Britain's 'Bix Six' utility companies must rapidly adapt and find a new role in an energy system which is undergoing the "3D transition" of decarbonisation, digitisation and decentralisation, a new report by industry experts has concluded.

The new home battery packs are priced from £3,000, with costs rising to £6,925 when combined with Ikea solar panels

Ikea offers home energy storage systems alongside solar panels

Ikea has partnered with renewable energy firm Solarcentury to launch a new domestic battery storage solution that could help to double the amount of solar energy used by UK households and reduce electricity bills by 70%.

Members of the European Investment Bank visit Welsh Water's Five Fords treatment site in Wrexham

Welsh Water secures £250m renewables loan and DONG Energy deal

The sixth largest regulated water and sewage company in England and Wales has secured a £250m loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to finance on-site renewable generation projects, alongside a clean energy purchasing agreement with providers DONG Energy.

250 kWp ground mount PV system designed and installed by HBS New Energies at the Coal Authority’s Deerplay Mine Water Treatment Scheme, Lancashire

UK Coal Authority turns to solar to offset water treatment costs

A regulatory body of the UK coal industry has named the latest contractor for a four-year renewable energy framework to offset the costs of its 75 mine water treatment sites.

The announcement marks a significant step in Aldi’s ambition to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30% by 2020

Aldi to install 96,000 solar panels across UK stores this year

German discount supermarket chain Aldi has today (5 July) announced it will install 96,000 solar panels across more than 50 UK stores by the end of 2017.

The microgrid provides WEB Aruba with real-time optimisation capabilities to forecast and cater for growing electricity demands on the island

Caribbean island turns to microgrids in quest to become fossil-fuel free

The island of Aruba is a step closer to becoming fossil-fuel free, after a new deal was signed to integrate an advanced microgrid into the operations of the island's main utilities provider to balance growing demand for electricity with increased renewable energy generation.

New consumer products like Tesla’s grid-connected home battery, along with small-scale solar, are becoming more popular, and are tipped to revolutionise the way power is stored

Storage 'not fundamentally needed' for future power grid, scientists say

The emergence of household batteries, along with small-scale solar photovoltaic and plug-in electric cars, is tipped to transform electricity storage, according to a new state-of-the-art report by European science academies. But experts claim storage is not actually fundamentally needed.

BNEF found that solar will account for 48% of the world’s installed capacity and 34% of electricity generation by 2040

'Unstoppable' renewables to reach new heights as costs tumble, report finds

Renewable energy sources will account for around three quarters of the expected $10trn global investment into power generating technologies between now and 2040, a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) has claimed.

Wind energy output peaked at 9.5GW on Wednesday 7 June

Windy weather brings new renewable energy record

Windy weather brought with it a new renewable record on Wednesday lunchtime as output from wind, solar, biomass and hydro peaked at 19.3GW - more than half of all demand.

2016 is the first year that the new solar capacity added to the energy mix has been greater than any other electricity-producing technology

'Spectacular' drop in renewable energy costs leads to record global boost

Renewable energy capacity around the world was boosted by a record amount in 2016 and delivered at a markedly lower cost, according to new global data - although the total financial investment in renewables actually fell.

Telefonica already sources 44% of its electricity from renewables, having doubled the percentage over the last 12 months

Telefonica joins RE100 to accelerate clean energy commitment

Multinational broadband and telecommunications provider Telefonica has signalled its commitment to decarbonising its operations, by joining the RE100 initiative to accelerate its plan to source 100% renewable energy.

Gorillaz are kicking off the E.ON partnership today (26 May) with the release of a new film for the track ‘We Got the Power’

Gorillaz dare to record new tracks in solar-powered studio

Virtual band Gorillaz will record new songs generated by renewable energy after teaming up with E.ON to establish a solar-powered music studio.

The company is also trialling onsite solar panels at its Chapelfield shopping estate

Shopping centre owners launch innovation lab after closing in on CSR targets

Shopping centre owner intu has launched a new Green Lab to identify new solutions to reduce environmental impacts, as outlined in a sustainability report that announced the firm had reached a zero-waste-to-landfill milestone.

The solar farm  will save 3,800 tonnes of CO2 emissions at the CCEP factory in Wakefield - equal to taking more than 1,700 cars off the road

Coca-Cola bottler sourcing 100% renewable electricity

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has launched a new solar farm in Yorkshire to coincide with news that the firm is now sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable energy.

Power Forward: How the largest US companies are capturing business value while addressing climate change

The largest US companies are increasing their clean energy and energy efficiency efforts while improving their bottom lines.

Join thousands of energy, sustainability, CSR and resource efficiency professionals at the UK's destination event for sustainable business

One month until edie Live 2017 - get your ticket now

With just one month to go until doors open for edie Live 2017 we take a look at why it is the destination event for sustainability and energy managers.

The thinktank insists that low-cost batteries, including those in EVs, mean many individual households and commercial buildings could operate off grid for months at a time by 2025

Green Alliance: UK energy system unprepared for EV and solar growth

The UK could suffer from an overloaded grid at peak times unless rapid action is taken to design a smarter power system, a new report from thinktank Green Alliance has found.

The industry body has set out a series of policy recommendations for ensuring emissions targets for the early 2030s are met

Energy UK joins calls to back 'pot one' technologies

Energy UK has called on ministers to support established renewable technologies, like onshore wind and solar, in order to provide a better deal for customers.

A Demand-Turn Up (DTU) is one of the tools and
services the National Grid is seeking to use to balance the system during the summer

National Grid encourages large businesses to boost power demand this summer

Energy-intensive businesses are being urged to voluntarily shift their energy usage in exchange for a payment in the coming months, as the National Grid anticipates a summer of low peak demands on the system.

Reading-based Anesco recently received recognition in the annual Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 league table for its fast-growing sales

Largest UK energy storage portfolio to come online in 2018

The largest portfolio of energy storage in the UK is set to be up and running by the end of next year, as renewable energy provider Anesco has announced proposals to bring 185MW of energy onto the grid.

Crookedstone is the largest solar energy connection to an airport in the UK and Ireland

Belfast International Airport solar farm savings soar above £100,000

Belfast International Airport has revealed it has achieved more than £100,000 in savings from a £5m off-site solar farm launched ten months ago.

Renewables have replaced 100m tonnes of oil equivalent electricity generation this decade, but will only need to replace 20m tonnes in the 10 years ahead, according to SolarPower Europe’s analysis

Renewables cut Europe's carbon emissions by 10% in 2015, says EEA

A surge in the use of wind and solar energy helped Europe to cut its fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by about 10% in 2015, an authoritative new report has found.

edie has analysed this latest batch of data to bring you 10 statistics that you probably didn’t know about global renewable energy capacity

The renewables revolution rolls on: 2016 in charts

New figures from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) have revealed that 2016 was the strongest year yet for renewable energy. Here, edie digs deep into the data to bring you 10 key statistics that chart a record-breaking year for the world's clean energy transformation.

Make sure you have your free pass to access content across all four dedicated content theatres, our one-to-one advice clinics, energy and water marketplace and more than 100 technology and service providers all helping you do business better

edie Live exhibitor focus: Flexitricity

Ahead of edie Live at the NEC on 23-24 May, we get up close and personal with some of our exhibitors to find out what visitors can expect to see from them at the show, what's new and how they can help in the drive towards sustainability targets.

Tesla has provided hundreds of Powerpacks to the Hawaiian island of Kauai, while Apple has encouraged a supplier to invest in a floating solar project

Tesla and Apple facilitate innovative solar projects

Apple and Tesla, two companies in the vanguard of the renewables revolution, have unveiled their links to new solar projects aimed at bringing clean energy that maximises land use in areas of Japan and the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

UK leads Europe for solar growth despite a drop in installations after government cut subsidies

Solar power growth leaps by 50% worldwide thanks to US and China

The amount of solar power added worldwide soared by some 50% last year because of a sun rush in the US and China, new figures show.

The end of 2016 saw Amazon exceed an incremental goal of sourcing 40% of its demand from renewable energy, and a new 50% target has been set for the end of 2017

Amazon expands renewables ambition with new solar rooftop pledge

Online retailer Amazon Web Services has pledged to deploy large-scale solar systems across 50 fulfillment and sortation centres globally by 2020, with deployments this year set to generate 41MW of renewable energy for the company.

Land Securities has installed the first hydrogen fuel cell at the BREEAM rated Walkie-Talkie skyscraper (left) in London, which also has roof-mounted solar panels

Land Securities is world's first property firm to have science-based targets approved

The UK's largest listed commercial real estate company has today (2 March) announced the approval of its science-based target to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050.