Top Gear go solar (whether Clarkson likes it or not)

Top Gear goes solar

by Rebecca Boyle on September 26, 2012

Jeremy Clarkson is more commonly known for his scathing remarks on electric cars and dismissive attitude toward Climate Change, but clearly the BBC have a different view. The famous Top Gear test track has gone solar, installing 2MW of capacity at the Dunston site.

To give an idea of the scale of the project, 8,500 ground mounted solar panels have been installed producing 2 MW of solar power, or, enough energy to power approximately 670 households. The system itself will allow the Dusten facility to generate enough energy during working hours to power the entire business park. In the event excess energy is generated, it will be fed back into the National Grid.

The project was made possible through solar leasing, a concept which is becoming increasing popular with customers at both residential and commercial levels. Under the agreement Dunsten Business Park gets unlimited access to the energy generation from the solar PV panels and the installer receives payment through the feed-in tariff.

Despite not having a reputation for our sunny weather, the UK has become a strong advocate for solar energy, as well as other forms of clean power. In addition to the growing number of hydro, wind and solar projects that have been installed at both residential and commercial levels, Britain also boasts the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) located in the north of Scotland as well as a number of wave and tidal test sites located across the country.

While Germany forges ahead, leading Europe in the solar energy sector, the UK has made progress in adopting clean energy technologies that will help it meet its renewable energy targets and sustainability goals. Scotland, in particular, continues to set high targets for renewable energy generation while stimulating renewable energy innovation through the ground breaking Saltire Prize.

Top Gear has unwittingly helped renewable energy, and specifically solar energy, as a result of its illustrious reputation. With one of the BBC’s most high profile shows going solar and solar PV being made readily available through IKEA, how much longer is it before we see solar PV being picked up by the big retailers? Tesco value solar PV anyone?

Image via FoE

© 2012 Solar Selections Ltd

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