On Thursday, March 30, there will be a two-hour roadshow pulling up at King’s Lynn Innovation Centre (KLIC). The roadshow is to showcase the potential funding opportunities on offer to local businesses to green projects and other energy-saving schemes.
Whilst this in itself should be applauded, and I sincerely hope it is a well attended event that will highlight what local businesses can do to reduce their own carbon as well as assist their energy resilience, I find it wholly ironic that it is being held at KLIC. Why? Well a few years ago, we, as a business, declared we would try to make Lynn the greenest town of its size in the UK by aggressively promoting solar energy. We have worked with factory owners and householders to install solar energy and battery systems. Something we have been doing for nearly ten years now from our base at The Solar Shed in Magdalen.
KLIC is an iconic landmark on the outskirts of town which has some great businesses and local innovators that was opened to a fanfare by our borough council and Nwes last year. The building itself is striking, modern and a testament to the borough’s growth strategy.
However the sloping roof is the perfect angle and the perfect size to generate energy, more than enough energy to run the building all day, almost every day of the year. With suitable battery storage, KLIC could not only produce enough energy to run the building but also to power the lights, security and everything else overnight. A building that shape should be heralded from the rooftops, it’s a stunning example of modern architecture and innovation. Or it would be if the sloping roof was facing south. In fact if the roof was facing east or west it would be pretty much perfect as well. But no. The architect, the planners or whoever it was who made the decision, decided to face the sloping roof to the north. The very place when in the UK you should not place solar panels. Architects, builders and planners have a social responsibility to us all to design and innovate in a way we have not had to before. Fossil fuel sourced energy is in decline worldwide. Renewable energy works. In Lynn, whilst some of us are committed to encouraging change, the great and good would rather place a building facing totally the wrong way because, and I quote ‘We wanted it to stand out from the A47’.
Personally speaking, KLIC would have made more of a statement if only they had included a little more thought and common sense at inception.
The Solar Shed, Magdalen