24 Apr 2009 04:04:20
British church raising funds for solar tiles
A church based in the London borough of Islington is to become Britain's first to cover its whole roof in solar tiles.
Saint Silas Church is raising funds for the scheme after accepting that it needs to replace its existing roof, which has fallen into a state of disrepair.
The Diocese of London claimed that the project is an example of how churches can encourage homeowners to reduce their own carbon footprints, suggesting that it is considering introducing the technology to its other buildings.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, the ecclesiastical organisation's head environmental officer, Brian Cuthbertson, said: "This is an innovative project that offers an excellent example of how our churches can take a lead in addressing the challenge of climate change."
It is estimated that the solar panelling - which contains photo-voltaic cells and was designed to look like traditional roof tiling - will allow the church to generate 47 percent of its energy requirements from sunlight and save 7,027 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year.
Any excess power that is created by the solar tiles can be sold back to the National Grid in order to raise money.
The newspaper reports that the church has so far raised £155,000 of the £370,000 required for the scheme; the solar technology is expected to cost £160,000, while the rest of the money will be spent on replacing the roof and stonework repairs.
According to the Committee on Climate Change, emissions from residential properties account for 25 percent of the nation's total carbon footprint.
The government recently pledged to reduce CO2 emissions in the UK by 80 percent by 2050.http://www.theccc.org.uk/pdf/TSO-ClimateChange.pdf