Renewable energy, such as solar power, is just one part of addressing climate change, and the more solar power we can generate, the less greenhouse gas emissions
Blackfriars Solar Bridge is an excellent example of renewable energy in action, and beautifully so! In an effort to reduce emissions, solar power can be installed practically anywhere, so why not the top of a railway station? That’s exactly what is being done in Central London, in the United Kingdom.
Blackfriars rail station is actually a bridge over the Thames River, and now it is also a renewable energy solar power station. Thanks to a complete redesign, Blackfriars rail station now has pedestrian access from both the North and South Banks of the river, as well as four new platforms and a redeveloped Underground station. This is good news for commuters looking to ditch their cars and take advantage of more-efficient public transportation, which could amount to a huge reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, but that’s not all.
On the roof of Blackfriars, 4,400 photovoltaic solar panels, covering over 6,000 m2, generate 900,000 kWh of clean renewable energy to power the station. About 50% of the station’s energy needs are met by these solar panels, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by over 500 metric tons of carbon dioxide, annually.
Blackfriars’ application of solar power really goes to show that renewable energy doesn’t have to be ugly or intrusive. Renewable energy can be beautiful, aesthetic, and complementary. Really, it’s fossil fuel power stations and pipelines that turn our beautiful vistas, even city skylines, into a greenhouse-gas-spewing mess.
Image © SolarCentury