Rooftops and car parks can power Sussex to solar energy targets, says countryside charity

More than half of solar panels required to hit government net-zero targets could be fitted on rooftops and car parks according to a major new report.

Research commissioned by CPRE and carried out by the UCL Energy Institute found decarbonising the grid requires far less land than previously feared.

CPRE Sussex director Paul Steedman said: “Climate crisis is the biggest threat to the countryside which means we need to decarbonise fast.

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"This is a particularly big opportunity in Sussex where we have lots of hours of sunshine.

"There is enormous potential to make use of our rooftops, both commercial and domestic, car parks and other developed spaces to generate renewable energy while protecting valuable landscapes.”

The government has set a national target of 70GW of solar energy generation by 2035.

Analysis of the solar photovoltaic capacity of rooftops and car parks across England found installing solar panels on existing rooftops and land such as car parks could provide at least 40-50GW in England by 2035.

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With further investment, by 2050 there is potential for up to 117GW of low carbon electricity to be generated from roofs and other developed spaces.

Mr Steedman said: “CPRE Sussex wants to see all suitable new developments required to have rooftop solar as standard.

"We also want to see a massive programme of climate-proofing existing buildings through insulation, rooftop solar and low-carbon heating.”

With the right policies, rooftop solar could hand power back to the people. A decentralised future of renewable energy cooperatives, supported by the government, is a realistic option in a net-zero world.

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For those looking to start their own solar revolution, there are already group-buying discounts available through schemes like Solar Together,

Read the full report and sign a petition backing the rooftop renewable revolution at

Find out more about how CPRE Sussex is supporting renewable energy at