If the UK covered all south facing roofs with solar panels, this could provide all our electricity – but

Currently, the weight of solar panels mean that (along with the cost) it is rare that companies have the money to cover large roofs with solar panels.

A new product developed by a firm in Sunderland may change this. They have developed a light weight alternative which can be stuck in the same place panels would usually go. This method is much cheaper and at least as effective as many flexible panels.

They still have tests to run, but if they are a success, the company aims to start selling it 0.3mm thick solar film in the middle of 2022. This would also easily go on cars and lorries as well. Although the initial aim will be to cover large building, a lorry has roughly 20 square meters of flat roof space – even with relatively poor panels, this should make 20-30kwh a day easily. While an electric lorry will use more than this, over the year, a system like this could make as much as 6megawatt hours, which is certainly not to be sniffed at.

Could this new product move us faster towards gaining significant amounts of our power from solar? I would hope so.

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