Up on the roof with a new industry the Government is trying to squash

Today I helped launch a solar energy system on the roof of the Busworks business centre in Holloway, on the last day of the government’s consultation on its proposed massive cuts to renewable energy subsidies.

This initiative at Busworks highlights the vibrant nature of the renewable energy sector, creating thousands of jobs across London and supporting an ecosystem of small companies and exciting technology start-ups.

But the government’s proposed 87 percent cut to the domestic feed-in tariff for solar energy is a senseless threat to small, medium and large solar companies and co-operatives across the country right at the point when solar power is set to expand hugely.

This sector could become a successful source of energy security, jobs and profits for all kinds of communities within the next few years. But these government cuts risk bringing this success story to a standstill.

The solar energy installation at Busworks is being carried out by Joju Solar, also based at the centre, and consists of 183 solar panels fitted to the roof of the building, which will generate over 50,000 kWh of clean solar electricity every year and save 24 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

The energy will be used by many of the small businesses on site, as well as the car-share company Drive Now, which will use the new power source to charge its vehicles. On a good day enough electricity would be generated to charge 10 electric vehicles, giving them enough power to collectively drive over 1000 miles.

Driving a Drive Now electric car at Busworks

Busworks is just the kind of forward-looking business centre that London needs, supporting businesses and entrepreneurs and plugging into the new smart energy future powered by renewables, battery storage and electric vehicles.

However the government’s failure to protect business space in London from conversion to residential property is putting increasing pressure on supply of affordable office spaces like this for small businesses and entrepreneurs.