Providing PV capacity

Centrica has acquired Solar Technologies Group for £2.8m in cash, including full debt repayment.


Solar Technologies is one of British Gas’ technology contractors for Phase Two of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme (LCBP) and will further aid its strategy to acquire technologies that are said to provide cheap, reliable and low carbon sources of energy.


As one of the leading installers of integrated photovoltaic (PV) technology, Solar Technologies will provide British Gas with the capacity to install PV equipment in the UK.


Solar photovoltaic technology works by converting sunlight into electrical energy via thin layers of semiconductive material. The output is determined by the efficiency of the panels and the brightness of light.


According to the European Photovoltaic Industry Association, PV energy could provide 12 per cent of the total energy demands in Europe by 2020.


Such estimates could prove beneficial to government targets for a six per cent reduction in domestic CO2 emissions by 2020. Targets have also been put in place to increase renewable sources of energy by 15 per cent in the same year.


Due to its installation and servicing capabilities, British Gas is in an unrivalled position to achieve these goals using smaller scale renewable and low carbon technologies.


Earlier this year, British Gas made an equity investment and distribution agreement with Ceres Power Holdings to use solid oxide fuel cell technology in heat and power systems for residential properties.


British Gas has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Discenco Energy to collaborate in the research and development of micro-combined heat and power appliances for large residential and commercial properties.


Further to these initatives, changes in building planning systems and regulations are hoped to encourage the use of renewable energy in new buildings across the country.


Gearód Lane, managing director of British Gas New Energy, said: ‘This acquisition is an important step in British Gas putting in place a range of renewable and low carbon energy technologies for our residential, business and public sector customers.


‘These technologies will become increasingly important as the UK implements policies to meet its stretching renewable energy and carbon emissions targets. And with British Gas’s energy experts supporting millions of Britain‘s homes and business, we are uniquely positioned to deliver.’