Blackfriars Bridge in London is world’s largest solar powered bridge, with over 6,000m² of PV panels added across the entire bridge. Despite London’s famously gloomy weather, it supplies 50% of the station’s electricity – enough to make 79,000 cups of tea.
The project is part of a £6.5bn programme to improve the Thameslink route, and is intended to reduce the cost of running the station while reducing the amount of CO2 emissions. Experts have estimated that the station will now cut CO2 emissions by 511 tonnes every year.
Solar power is often seen as an afterthought in a project, but cutting costs and emissions were a major aims in this project so solar power was absolutely integral to achieving that. There has been backlash against building ‘solar farms’ on green belt land or in the countryside, so using urban space to generate electricity right where it’s needed is a fantastic way to create iconic landmarks without affecting the British countryside.
As the IPCC continues to warn world leaders about the effects of climate change and urges countries to reduce dependency on fossil fuels, the fact that Network Rail are investing in sustainable energy is a fantastic step forwards. London is full of old institutions that use history and tradition as major selling points – for one for one of these institutions to buy into solar energy and green technologies could mark a turning point in how other businesses see renewable energy and how major London landmarks are built from now on.Tags: solar power