How Europe’s Transition to Solar Energy Autonomy Can Inspire the UK

Maguire Brothers - Commercial Roofing Contractor F Hinds

 

As Europe moves towards energy autonomy amid continuing tensions with Russia and the imposition of sanctions on the country, it is critical for businesses in the UK to take action to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and embrace sustainable solutions.

This shift towards renewable energy has been accelerated by recent crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, economic slowdown and Russia’s invasion. The EU has set a goal to generate 45% of total final energy consumption from renewables, with several EU governments setting even more ambitious targets.

Analysis by energy think-tank Ember shows that Europeans are moving even faster than their governments, with electricity generated from solar photovoltaics and wind reaching a record 22% in the EU in 2021, a one-fifth increase on the previous year, and two-thirds of the increase in solar energy coming from rooftop photovoltaics.

The energy transition in Europe is being driven by individuals and businesses who are taking action to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and embrace sustainable solutions. This transition is happening from the bottom up, with people interested in producing their own energy and doing their part to defy Russia as an aggressor and a threat to Europe.

Pitched Commercial Tile Roof with Photovoltaic Cells

Driving a sustainable energy revolution.

The UK’s energy grid is becoming increasingly more vulnerable due to the effects of the war in Ukraine and the ever looming threat of climate change, which makes it more important than ever for businesses in the UK to consider alternative energy sources.

With advancements in technology and a significant reduction in costs, solar panels have become an increasingly affordable and effective option for businesses looking to reduce their energy costs and carbon emissions. In addition, sustainable roofing solutions, such as green roofs and cool roofs, can also play a significant role in reducing energy consumption and mitigating the effects of climate change.

Solar energy is an ideal solution for businesses looking to reduce their energy costs and carbon emissions. A recent study indicates that if the UK used 5% of available UK commercial rooftop space for solar, it could lead to an estimated £12.6 billion per year in energy cost savings. Solar panels can be installed on the roofs of commercial buildings and generate electricity by converting sunlight into usable energy. This energy can be used to power the building’s lighting, heating, and cooling systems, reducing the building’s reliance on the grid and lowering its energy costs.

Green roofs are partially or completely covered with vegetation, such as grass, flowers, and shrubs. They provide a range of benefits, including reducing the urban heat island effect, improving air quality, and reducing storm water runoff. In addition, green roofs can provide insulation for the building, reducing the amount of energy needed for heating and cooling.

Cool roofs are roofs that are designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than traditional roofs. They are typically made of materials that are light in colour and have high solar reflectance and thermal emittance. Cool roofs can significantly reduce the amount of heat absorbed by a building, reducing the need for air conditioning and lowering energy costs.

In addition to the environmental benefits, sustainable roofing solutions can also provide financial benefits for businesses. Green roofs and cool roofs can extend the life of a building’s roof, reducing maintenance costs and the need for costly repairs. In addition, they can improve the aesthetic appeal of a building and increase its value.

The UK’s dependence on Russia for energy highlights the need for greater investment in renewable energy sources, such as solar energy. The recent shift towards energy autonomy in Europe serves as a reminder of the importance of reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and embracing sustainable energy solutions. We recognise the urgent need for businesses in the UK to take action and adopt renewable energy and sustainable roofing solutions.

At Maguire Brothers, we are committed to helping businesses across the UK understand the benefits of renewable energy and sustainable roofing solutions. We believe that by working together, we can create a more sustainable future for ourselves and future generations. Get in touch with our team of specialists to find out more.

This article, as with all other articles we produce, is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute formal advice and should not be relied upon as such. For bespoke, unbiased advice relating to your commercial roofing project please contact us and we would be pleased to assist.

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