By Michael Evans, Earth Times
There is little need for constant reminders of the need to conserve energy. Every citizen in every country needs to save energy and use it sparingly. Alternative sources of energy need to be developed and existing "clean" forms of energy need to be more widely utilised.
In recent years the technology to utilise solar energy has advanced by leaps and bounds and a potential area for its generation are the very much under-utilised roofs of English churches. In England there are something over 16,000 Anglican churches, plus about another 20,000 churches of other denominations. Anglican churches in particular are generally aligned in an east-west direction, meaning that one side of the long roof generally faces south. Added to that, the roof is usually high enough not to be screened by trees.
If half of these Anglican churches are unsuitable because of location or other factors, that still leaves the roofs of about 8,000, plus the roofs of many non-Anglican churches as well.
Churches are expensive to heat, so solar energy seems to be a perfect answer to the problem, but installation of solar panels in churches is not always straightforward. Permission is needed under planning law as well as from Church authorities but Government guidance increasingly encourages planning applications that consider climate change and renewable energy. The significant costs of installation is usually the greatest challenge.
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