The British Army’s Solar Farm will be the size of 6 football pitches, say the MoD.

The British Army say here that work has begun on their first solar farm as part of a major project expected to deliver £1million in efficiency savings and a massive reduction of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

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Pacman27
Pacman27
6 months ago

Given the amount of warehousing and massive buildings in the MOD portfolio. Why don’t they just renew all the roofs with solar panels. Which will be a win win even raising these 20ft into the air could provide some shade for a vehicle park or similar.

also a matrox unpressurised nuclear reactor in a container would also benefit the uk whilst meeting our commitments

this smacks a bit of tokenism and given we are making people unemployed I think we could spend our money far more productively

Dern
Dern
6 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Wouldn’t surprise me if as plans progress that will be done. Easy wins.

peter wait
peter wait
6 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

If the panels are from China we are helping finance their military expansion!

Dern
Dern
6 months ago
Reply to  peter wait

I take it you’ve never bought anything “Made in China” thrn?

peter wait
peter wait
6 months ago
Reply to  Dern

Not if i can avoid it, they are threatening India, building a canal to try and steal their water and worming their way into Pakistan to facilitate boarder expansion into India’s direction. They are threatening Taiwan invading their airspace frequently and are Government is still being chummy with them, have some moral compass !

Dern
Dern
6 months ago
Reply to  peter wait

“Not if I can avoid it.”
So you do buy from China. Cheers for clearing that up.

David Flandry
David Flandry
6 months ago
Reply to  Dern

Sometimes you cannot avoid it do to one-supplier sources.. Seems you don’t care whether you do or not.

Dern
Dern
6 months ago
Reply to  David Flandry

I do care, but I think it’s hilarious that people get irate about funding chinese military expansion by the nation trying to go green, but then will turn around and buy chinese at the drop of a hat because they want the latest iPhone.

Expat
Expat
6 months ago
Reply to  Dern

China has nearly 600 coal fired power stations. Buying Chinese is probably not a green solution.

peter wait
peter wait
6 months ago
Reply to  Dern

Seems 80 percent of the worlds solar panels are from china as they dropped the price so low it was hard for anyone else to compete !

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Panels are now dirt cheap at wholesale prices. I fitted them myself a while back. Well worth doing if you can fit them yourself. At ground level they could be getting the boys and girls to put them up as all you need is a mini digger and come concrete for the bases. Roof fitting is a bit more of a pain but I agree with other contributors that when big building are re-roofed they should have PV by default. I also don’t buy into the ‘when the sun does t shine’ argument – use grid gas generation to fill… Read more »

Pacman27
Pacman27
6 months ago

No problem with panels, I do have a problem with covering valuable land mass though.. we must have a load of vehicle and warehouse roofs that would benefit from this and all new accommodation should have solar built in even if it’s for hot water generation. No need for roof tiles if you can put these on.

I am all for energy efficiency, just wish they would be a bit more strategic, but then again we could say that about the army as a whole

James M
James M
6 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

It depends what that land is doing though. If it’s just a field sitting there and doing nothing, why not cover it in solar? It’s also significantly easier and cheaper to put solar panels up in a field than on roofs – though I do agree that they should be installed whenever a roof needs redoing or a new building is built.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

I agree with you that the UK needs to wise up to solar thermal. Much better to use solar thermal (other than the pump zero energy usage) for heating boosted by a bit of gas than use heat pumps (which when they are needed most produce poor yields).

The number of days you are using more than 20% of your gas boiler power is tiny.

Crabfat
Crabfat
6 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Quite a few Army bases are ex-RAF airfields and the acres of concrete runways are still there. Ideal for lots of solar panels – and with existing hard foundations.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 months ago
Reply to  Crabfat

Very, very good point. And actually quick to remove if you need the runway back in a hurry for any reason. Just need to use fixings that only leave a plastic puck in the concrete and not a metal stud. So a very large heavy duty rawlplug type fixing (Fisher fixings do them) would be fine. Even the hard stands would be useful. You don’t need much to mount a solar panel on: just enough weight that the alignment doesn’t change with windage. Usually all you do is to grub out some narrow strip footings and then just trundle a… Read more »

Crabfat
Crabfat
6 months ago

You’ve got the job, SB!

DJ
DJ
6 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

I doubt they will stop at this particular energy solution.
As you say, unpressurised nuclear is one route, my own enthusiasm being for Rolls-Royce and/or Moltex.
And if these help to steer us away from strategically-vulnerable and non-green fossil fuels, so much the better.

Pacman27
Pacman27
6 months ago
Reply to  DJ

Unfortunately RR are mini pressurised, so I am all in on Moltex. really poor that the UK govt is not 100% behind this innovative British company, but the Canadian govt is.. says something about us I am afraid. if we are serious about global Britain, then moltex is the type of company the govt should be taking a golden share in. Norway has the worlds largest sovereign wealth fund at $1trillion, perhaps the uk should setup its own whilst the cost of borrowing is cheap and use the money it makes to offset the deficit. we should be taking key… Read more »

Peter S
Peter S
6 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

You can only set up a sovereign wealth fund if you don’t spend all your state revenues. UK has been running deficits for decades. Apart from China and China linked territories, most of the sovereign wealth funds are held by countries with large oil revenues and small populations.
I do agree that government should get more involved in key defence related industries. The Defence and Security Industrial Strategy is moving in that direction.

Ecomoist
Ecomoist
6 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

The roofing load on buildings such as warehouses, hangers etc. are designed so it’s not possible to place a large load like a few hundred solar panels and associated equipment.

Even adding them to small office blocks or houses would require work to ensure they can handle the additional load.

Placing them in a field requires no structural load, you have thousands of panels on a single level and area to reduce maintenance costs.

dan
dan
6 months ago

Yea because they need more solar power as opposed to things like tanks, planes, ect. LOL

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
6 months ago
Reply to  dan

Well it says they will save money I wonder over what period. It’s a technology that needs to be committed to and you have to start somewhere I just hope (perhaps optimistically) that it will encourage British industry and innovation.

Steve
Steve
6 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

I very much suspect its typical gov / civil service spin. Fuel cost will get saved, if you ignore the significant upfront cost of the panels. Solor is still not cheap enough to make major savings.

Matt C
Matt C
6 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Here’s how it saves money: Step 1 declare drive for environmental sustainability, Step 2 penalise oneself for not going green, Step 3 buy expensive green energy generators to avoid SELF-IMPOSED PENALTIES, Step 4 pat self job well done on saving oneself from one’s own penalties It is the same poppycock behind spending on unitary (non-cluster) warheads and low-collateral PGMs. All well and good until one fetches up against an enemy with no such compunctions who has spent that money getting cheaper, more plentiful, more destructive weapons. Do you think Russia or China give much of a soaring shag over whether… Read more »

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
6 months ago
Reply to  Matt C

China is building huge amounts of offshore wind, and land solar power, so yes, I guess they do.

Matt C
Matt C
6 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

But are they doing it for their Armed Forces, or for other purposes? And how does the UK and PRC compare, are you sure what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander? The PRC is also building artificial island firebases in the sea, should we do the same?

David Flandry
David Flandry
6 months ago
Reply to  Matt C

No, and other purposes such as propaganda and PR. Their total amount of energy from solar/wind/cow-farts is miniscule compared to coal, oil, and nuclear. We will not build artificial firebases in the sea, after all, its their sea, just ask them. The attack on Taiwan and its supporters is not far away.

Matt C
Matt C
6 months ago
Reply to  David Flandry

Exactly. What gets my goat is that the PRC and USSR 2.0 have basically pulled off several annexations within the past 10 years while we’ve been faffing about wondering if it’s environmentally sustainable to put a cruise missile up their arses. It sounds like something out of an 80s comedy show but it is the reality of today. The friggin ARMY cutting tanks in order to build solar farms… job jolly well done I say.

Paul T
Paul T
6 months ago
Reply to  Matt C

Renewables account for about 26% of China’s Energy resources at the moment.

Expat
Expat
6 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

They are also still commissioning coal fired plants.

Something different
Something different
6 months ago
Reply to  dan

It may save money and may get the military into the habit of being less dependent on strategically vulnerable resources like fossil fuels. Also this perhaps helps spur on technical innovation in this field.

Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub
6 months ago

If you take into account the need for backup generation for when the sun isn’t shining it won’t save a penny. All this does is make the system vulnerable to interruption. If the climate is allegedly going to become disruptive, then surely pv electric is the last thing we should be relying on. That’s speaking as someone who has solar panels installed .

Sean
Sean
6 months ago

“ If the climate is allegedly going to become disruptive”…
You’re denying that climate change is happening?! 🤦‍♂️

AlexS
AlexS
6 months ago
Reply to  Sean

“You’re denying that climate change is happening?!”

Anti-science typical of scientism because do not have falsiability.

No one knows what climate is doing and by what reasons.

Sean
Sean
6 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

The climate scientists have a pretty good idea based upon recordings taken over time. While there is a degree of discussion as to whether all the change is due to man’s carbon releasing activities, only flat-earther types believe it isn’t happening.

Andy P
Andy P
6 months ago
Reply to  Sean

Agreed Sean, Yes, our rock is going to fluctuate in temperature etc but you’d have to a special kind of stoopid not to realise that the 7 billion or so (and increasing) people living on this rock with growing demands for resources isn’t going to have an impact.

peter wait
peter wait
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Guess each of the 7 billion humans give of 100 to 120 watts of heat energy while resting lol!

AlexS
AlexS
6 months ago
Reply to  Sean

“The climate scientists have a pretty good idea based upon recordings taken over time.”

Ridiculous, Climate science is only in beginning.And at quality level is going it always will be.
You only have a couple of decades you can know what have been the cloud cover for example.

Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub
6 months ago
Reply to  Sean

Please note Sean, that I specifically did not deny that climate change is happening. I merely pointed out, that the alleged reason for taking action to stop climate change, is that the weather will become more disruptive. If you agree that is true, then surely you should agree that building a system that is vulnerable to bad weather is pretty stupid?

Gary
Gary
6 months ago
Reply to  Sean

“Climate Change” has always happened. CO2 from burning fossil fuels making the earth hotter – no hard evidence at all. Ice core data shows CO2 follows temperature, Climate models show between 3-7 times more warming due to CO2 that actual real-world data – hence wrong. Greenland ice cores and Stomata data from fossils show CO2 levels have been just as high if not higher than today in the recent past. The future is a cooler world as a result of natural cycles and a reduced output from the sun. The British Army should just stick to war fighting. I’m sure… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
6 months ago
Reply to  Gary

Not a fan of the ‘big picture’ then Gary ?? Why shouldn’t the Army (in this case) try and save a bit of cash and get some good PR out of this. And that’s just the ‘selfish stuff’, then there’s the Army being part of UK Gov and their drive to reduce our impact on the planet. I’m not sure why we would be using Putin as the gauge of how the UK would (and should) behave. Its almost like you’ve decided that the ‘whole climatey thing’ is a load of crap and will use any old stick to beat… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Once again, you listen to repeated and repeated and .. journalist propaganda so it must be truth…

Why you choose to ignore climate complexity, that goes from past influence today to planetary motion?

If this happened today you all be wanting to kill some internal combustion engine witches https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Storm_of_1703

You are being manipulated.

Andy P
Andy P
6 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

Cheers AlexS, its a good job you’re here to keep us all right on this stuff… I guess your experts have it nailed down and no other opinion (including those other pesky experts (and the journos and wee Greetin’ Greta)) are all talking bollox*.You’ve convinced me, I’m not sure why we should worry about the rock we live on getting warm or running out of resources when the population is both expanding in number and leading more indulged lifestyles. I reckon you’ve got the right of it and it will all work out fine. *Greta boils my pish and I’m… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

How can you distinguish past climate change from today? You can’t and no one can.
I posted a text from an Italian of XIX century about climate change of his time and before. Giacomo Leopardi, XXIX chapter of Pensieri, but seem it was not or not yet approved.

Andy P
Andy P
6 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

AlexS, I suspect you credit both of us with much more wisdom on the subject than either of us actually have. We’ll be getting our ‘knowledge’ from sources that have stronger opinions on it with more credentials (at least hopefully). For myself, as I’ve posted elsewhere in this thread, I find it inconceivable that the amount of humans that currently exist, with our heightened needs doesn’t have an impact on our planet. It has finite resources so at some point we’re going to run out of them. I’m not sure why an affluent and forward thinking country like the UK… Read more »

Gary
Gary
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Well, if we ignore the fact these these will come from China (made via forced labour? – https://www.politico.eu/article/xinjiang-china-polysilicon-solar-energy-europe/), adding to our already massive trade deficit, don’t work at night, produce mountains of toxic waste (https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/09/19/solar-panels-generate-mountains-of-waste/), will actually cost the British bill payer (https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2019/05/13/critics-blame-solar-farms-for-high-electricity-bills-as-it-emerges-owners-earn-more-money-from-taxpayer-funded-handouts-than-selling-energy/) (24% of our electricity bills are to pay for this nonsense – https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2021/02/15/homeowners-fleeced-by-renewable-subsidies/) and will add to the national grid instabilities with the potential for blackouts (https://www.thegwpf.com/u-k-power-grid-creaks-at-risk-of-blackouts/). Otherwise, great! As for Putin, well lets just see what happens in Ukraine in the next few weeks. And yes, I, a Physicist, like many other scientists, think this ‘whole… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
6 months ago
Reply to  Sean

Climate change: Chapter XXIX Pensieri Giacomo Leopardi Written in 1830’s I think everybody will remember having heard from his parents several times, just as I remember hearing from mines, that years have become colder than they were, and winters longer; and that when they were younger, already around Easter they would leave the winter clothes for the summer ones; whilst such a change today, or so they say, is only bearable in May, and sometimes in June. And not many years ago, some physicists seriously searched for a cause to this alleged cooling of the seasons. Some said it was the… Read more »

Slothnado
Slothnado
6 months ago

In just the last 10 years to 2011 the cost of the panels has dropped 89%. If combined with grid scale battery storage (cost also plummeting) they could easily not just save £s over 10 years, but actually make a profit helping balance the grid.

Graham
Graham
6 months ago

Surely climate change is not drastically reducing the amount of solar energy hitting the planet?

Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham

No, it’s not, but solar pv is vulnerable to damage and cannot be relied upon. The Army receiving money from feed in tariffs is just accountants moving money from one place to another in an inefficient and opaque manner.

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 months ago
Reply to  dan

Its money in not out. Very much a thing with south facing farmers in my area too, A profitable use of land, of which MOD has a lot.

Andy P
Andy P
6 months ago

Seems like a good idea, just a pity that its a single service initiative.

Andy P
Andy P
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Don’t forget the submarines Stephen.

J Mulley
J Mulley
6 months ago

They will all be made in China. Crazy – the only thing you can say is the pollution making them will be China’s problem

john hoyle
john hoyle
6 months ago

Its just a expensive stop gap till fusion and mini nuclear reactors.

Andrew
Andrew
6 months ago

I’ve never been a fan of solar farms. I would rather use the land for trees or food farming. Put them on roof tops. And I’m fairly confident intermittent technologies like wind and solar will be obsolete by the end of this decade. UK companies like Infinite Power are starting to come on stream that will provide green, reliable and cheap electricity.

Slothnado
Slothnado
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

Despite it’s variability wind is now the lowest cost power source, even with current historic low gas/oil/coal prices. Grid scale batteries have already proven themselves as profitable way to even out supply. A scheme already exists where the National Grid can direct electric vehicles to vary their charge rate and timing to help balance grid supply/demand balancing for more efficiently than turning fosil fuel power stations on and off. Obviously the number of EVs is going up so their utility to the grid is increasing.

Hermes
Hermes
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

Yes…
We have the same projects in France, a shame.
You have so much surface on roof but no… build a solar farm in France or UK where the ground surface is not so important from the start…

Joe16
Joe16
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

I have to speak up in defence of wind and solar on this one; Canada and plenty of other places like the UK North Sea operate solar and wind farms all year round in horrendous conditions without the kind of disruption seen in Texas. The reason was, they didn’t specify their systems for the weather they then experienced- causing the disruption seen. Notably, I believe there was also significant disruption in the fossil fuel sector in Texas too, so I don’t think the renewable sources can be singled out as the primary contributor to their blackouts. That said, there are… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
6 months ago

Where are the numbers and in 5 years we will get a new PR?

PS: i think for crucial installations it is needed redundancy so it means being not as efficient. This place does not seems to be one of those.

David Flandry
David Flandry
6 months ago

Cut the Army but go Green while doing it.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
6 months ago

A company in Nottingham found their power needs screwed over after the council failed to plan properly for the local tram build. They have quite a bit of warehouse space so they decided to install solar panels, within the first two months they had supplied 100kWh of energy and now account for 10% of their production power. They are worth it.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

That should be 100,000kWH. Check your auto correct kids!

Orlando Mecik
Orlando Mecik
6 months ago

Madness. Hippy Marxists have taken the military. We are finished

Peter S
Peter S
6 months ago

The QE2 carries 7m litres of fuel for ship and aircraft and was refuelled twice during sea trials. Unless solar panels actually save significant amounts of money over their lifetime, in the context of the fuel needed for the carrier groups trip to the Pacific,they are token gestures.
Once a climate sceptic, Boris, under the influence of his mistress, is now a full on believer. As a result, the Integrated Review is full of green virtue signalling ( alongside a lot of other nonsense).

Andy P
Andy P
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

Peter S, if I get you right we should do nothing then. I’m with Tesco, every little helps.

Peter S
Peter S
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

I did say that unless this really saves money, it is a token gesture.
I’ve got so used to typing QE2 I don’t even see the mistake any more!

Andy P
Andy P
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

Surely though, if it saves ‘some’ money then its a good thing. Then if the idea is put across the whole of the MOD then its going to save even more money. Why not spread it across all sectors of government. Being cynical, whether that’s about saving the planet or its about putting more money in the kitty is irrelevant.

heroic
heroic
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

Morning, The “QE2” you speak of, are you referring to the retired Liner or HMS Queen Elizabeth ? lol.

Ron5
Ron5
6 months ago
Reply to  heroic

I think he’s suggesting covering the QE’s deck with solar panels.

heroic
heroic
6 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Well we might as well, It’s not like the Deck is crowded with F35’s is it ? What can we put on her, 12 is it ?

Crabfat
Crabfat
6 months ago
Reply to  heroic

The QE is a carrier with no aircraft, innit? I heard that from a reliable Scottish source.

heroic
heroic
6 months ago
Reply to  Crabfat

Well, Can you confirm that it has a full load of “Built for” F35’s ? I kind of get fed up reading all the “But she has Aircraft” articles, Tee Shirt sales stuff and the like, when actually, She has just a token force of the much often quoted 138 that the UK signed up for as a major partner. Oh and looks like we are only getting 48 now, so that’s probably just 30 max for both Carriers unless we ask the US or Italy if they wouldn’t mind lending us a few. Some folk are taking the Piss… Read more »

captain p wash
captain p wash
6 months ago
Reply to  Crabfat

Hello mate, I think that the whole Anti Scottish thing on here is a bit silly to be fair, It’s not the lovely people North of England that are the problem, It’s the so called Leaders ( isn’t that just so common when you look back in history ?) Quite why folk use the UKDJ to berate the Scottish here, I’ll never really understand. It is the “UK” defence Journal after all and they do tend to build all our Warships nowadays….. apart from those Subs and a few RFA’s. I also agree with Heroic’s post about F35 numbers……………….. It’s… Read more »

Crabfat
Crabfat
6 months ago
Reply to  captain p wash

Hi Captain, I’m with you all the way there, about the Scots – they are lovely people and they love their country. Certainly a bit more patriotic than most English. As you rightly say – it’s largely the so-called leaders (and certain reporters and MSPs) who are more interested in making political points than working for the population and espousing a balanced view.
Heroic – very valid points. It will be interesting to see where we are in, say, 12-24 months, with F35Bs.
Cheers! Have another dram!

Andy P
Andy P
6 months ago
Reply to  Crabfat

As someone who was a proud Scot I’m now in a position of viewing being proud of where you were born/grew up/live as pointless. Its not like you can do anything about it. To cast up stuff that other folk have done who have shared the same bit of geography is futile, its just so tribal.

Crabfat
Crabfat
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Sorry Andy – I didn’t mean to be offensive in any way. Just having a pop at one particular journalist, who could have been from anywhere in UK; she just happened to be a Scottish journalist.

Andy P
Andy P
6 months ago
Reply to  Crabfat

No offence taken mate, just saying that to be proud of your nationality is pretty pointless when you break it down. Its not like you have to pass some test, you’re just from somewhere. That gets whipped up to reasons to be crappy to others who weren’t born in the same wee corner of the planet.

Edit to add – I did buy into all that guff back in the day but you might as well be proud of being left or right handed, its all just another reason for an ‘us and them’.

Last edited 6 months ago by Andy P
heroic
heroic
6 months ago

unless It’s really Cloudy or Dark. No seriously, They don’t really work too well when it’s cloudy or dark.

Jay
Jay
6 months ago

Nice to see that we’re getting an enormous solar farm at our barracks. Meanwhile, my accommodation is simply ancient – not to mention eye wateringly inefficient. The heating has no control and is so hot that soldiers leave their windows open day and night.

The irony is not lost on me.

Grizzler
Grizzler
6 months ago
Reply to  Jay

you would think they would sort the oft mentioned poor accomodation first wouldn’t you …still no headlines there are there – and prob the old guys would moan about snowflake squadies!! As for UKDJ talking ‘green’ the irony is not lost on me either-ridiculous article & thread tbh.

Nic
Nic
6 months ago
Reply to  Jay

Yes Jay you are not the first service person ,who has complained about the living quarters and facilities.
They need to get it sorted .

Fen Tiger
Fen Tiger
6 months ago
Reply to  Jay

Different budget!

Billythefish
Billythefish
6 months ago

I would be far happier if they were building a small modular reactor, of any type, preferably molten salt however, to provide guaranteed energy over 25-50 years.

Expat
Expat
6 months ago
Reply to  Billythefish

Yep and the RnD into that could secure commercial exports. Boast gdp therefore the defence budget.

MrSatyre
MrSatyre
6 months ago

The author is aware, I’m sure, currently solar panels are limited in lifespan (around 25 years), and are non-recyclable, to say nothing of requiring tremendous carbon-emitting mining, refining and processing, and manufacturing, before being transported. There are no practical disposal plans proposed by any firm anywhere: just dump them in the same landfills currently occupied by windfarm turbine blades.. Quadruple that for the battery storage needs, and you get negative energy gains, and even higher carbon emissions. Neither panel or battery production can be accomplished on green energy.

Another waste of time, resources, and taxpayer money.