Bristol Solar City Working Group (previously the Bristol Solar Group) was initiated in 2011 as a response to the growing solar PV and thermal market in the UK.
It was clear that Bristol had a unique opportunity to establish itself as a centre of solar excellence in the UK, given that the city benefits from a high level of solar radiation, a strong history of solar installations already completed and a growing sector of companies involved in solar developments at one level or another.
In broader terms, the city has a well-recognised and respected environmental movement and won the accolade of the UK’s “greenest city” in 2008 as well as being placed in the top five every year since 2007.
The focus of the Bristol Solar City Working Group is the principal solar technologies – that’s to say PV (photovoltaic electricity) and thermal (water heated by the sun) – but this necessarily dovetails with much work being done by other agencies across the city region on energy efficiency, retrofitting and new-build design & specification for both domestic and commercial sectors.
The group is an open forum that allows discussion of a number of critical issues, each of which has it’s own working-group within the main Bristol Solar City Working Group. These are currently:
- Policy – covering legislation, lobbying, consultations etc
- Technical – ensuring that best practice is shared knowledge amongst members
- Research – providing a collaborative forum for new ideas, research activities and product testing and/or development
- Publicity – getting clear positive messages about solar to a wider audience