But a new report by Monitor smart says the UK isn’t doing enough to encourage solar energy
“I could fry an elephant with this.” It’s a statement made by energy consultant Phil Jenner, as he rolls an Asda trolley of laundry detergent in the direction of the machine.
In the second-floor meeting room of his office in Nottingham, Jenner demonstrates the streaming power of a solar-powered dishwasher, a prototype of which was just shown off on BBC Newsnight.
“Think of the energy savings and waste removed,” he says. “There’s immense potential and economic benefits.”
The Dee Valve is a company that has taken the technology behind the dishwasher and used it to build pods that can collect solar energy and then use the electricity to cook food in “solar kitchens” on the roof of a commercial building.
Solar costs are dropping and fast. We’re about to see their impact in big, positive ways | Fiona Stanley Read more
Dee Valve also claims the pods save, on average, 30kg of carbon dioxide (CO2) per household. “They could theoretically eat up 20-30% of CO2 emissions from household cooking,” says Jenner. “That could be absolutely massive.”
While the Dee Valve is far from the only company building a product around solar power, other technology is starting to emerge that aims to develop more efficient solar cookers and rely less on batteries.
If enough companies are investing in solar, more people will benefit, says James Anderson, the director of technology at the Dee Valve and one of Monitor’s founders. “Now is the time to be focusing on solar, not to be flippant about it, but not to be fearful,” he says.
Anderson also shares Jenner’s vision. “Whole forests will be saved. We’re just scratching the surface,” he says. “It’s time to start getting serious about solar.”
For more information visit monitor.digital