Having one of the largest populations combined with it's relatively southerly location the Birmingham postcode area should be one of the most popular areas for solar. As a major city in the West Midlands the metropolitan area covers quite a large geographical location and actually includes fifteen towns. Being further south and west the B postcode area is actually slightly better suited to many of the cities further north that have a higher level of solar uptake.
Many people in the UK mistakenly believe that solar is not suitable for our country outside of Cornwall. If this was really the case then you wouldn't have such as high levels of free solar photovoltaic installations occurring in areas such as Sheffield, Doncaster and Leeds. There are plenty of companies that are willing to offer free solar panels in Birmingham to homeowners with suitable roofs. This means that the closer to south facing your home faces and the larger your roof is the more suitable it is for free solar. Paid solar is more flexible because if your roof is not suitable for the free installers specific system the buying your own solar photovoltaic system allows you to choose one that suits roof size.
Ofgem released data showing the number of solar PV installations that took place in 2010. The data is collected from registered systems, you have to register your system in order to get the lucrative feed-in tariff payments , the so called solar panel grants. The figures include both free and paid for systems and does not distinguish between the two types of system so we can only speculate as to the real number of free solar systems that have been installed in Birmingham. Suffice to say in the Birmingham postcode area there were 212 domestic installs totalling 439kWh of capacity. Over the course of a year this equates to 373,150 kilowatt hours of electricity being generated from solar, enough power to meet all the needs of 113 homes in Birmingham. This may not seem like a lot at the moment but these figures were for the first year and it still means 113 homes that didn't need to be powered by other more dangerous and polluting power generating methods.
The statistics below show the number of solar installations that occurred in Birmingham during 2010. It shows the (B) postcode area followed by the total kilowatt capacity installed and the number for installations for that particular postcode area. If you do not see your postcode listed it means that there were no installations in that area.
The highest level of solar panels installed in Birmingham was in the B97 Redditch postcode area. A total of 33 installations took place in 2010 totalling 29.97kWp of installed capacity. This was by far the highest amount of solar with the next nearest being the B94 area of Olton and Solihull with 13 solar installs totalling 22.22kWp. Curiously in the B97 Redditch area a majority of the installations were only 0.52kWp which is unusual and probably indicates that these 28 solar installs were part of scheme rather than independent homeowners. The largest single system was put in place in the B30 (Bournville, Cotteridge and Stirchley) postcode area and was just over 12kWp which is about 3 times larger than the 4kWp system most installers stay below in order to claim the maximum feed-in tariff rates.
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In 2010 the UK invested 3.3 billion dollars on clean energy technologies, half of this went on offshore wind farms. Germany invested 41.2 billion the same year, over 12 times as much.
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