Solar Photovoltaic (PV) uses energy from the sun to create electricity to run appliances and lighting. PV requires only daylight, not direct sunlight, to generate electricity.
PV systems now come in a variety of shapes and colours, ranging from grey 'solar tiles' that look like roof tiles, to panels and transparent cells that you can use on conservatories and glass to provide shading as well as generating electricity.
Solar panels are not light and the roof must be strong enough to take their weight, especially if the panel is placed on top of existing tiles (see building regulations section below).
Solar PV installations should always be carried out by a trained and experienced installer.
For more on how Solar PV works, costs, maintenance and other considerations see the Energy Saving Trust information page.
The Carbon Trust offers advice on many aspects of low carbon buildings.
View information on the planning and building regulations regimes covering solar panels in our common projects section: