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Solar panels or plants must cover rooftops announces French Parliament

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A law has been approved by French Parliament requiring all new buildings in commercial zones to be at least partially covered in solar panels or plants in a bid to boost energy security and improve the environment. 

The move follows a surge in global energy prices, pushing household bills to record high levels. As large numbers of houses in France rely on electricity for their heating needs, and more than half of the country’s 57 nuclear reactors are offline while they undergo essential maintenance, it is essential the country makes urgent efforts to tackle the supply problems, which will only be amplified this coming Winter. An example of this was displayed in April this year when, thanks to a cold period, the French grid issued an ‘orange alert’ asking the country to ‘moderate its consumption’. The more rapid and wider deployment of renewable energy technologies such as solar panels will help tackle this problem, in France, the UK and the rest of the world.

At the same time, record heat levels – a clear indication of climate change recently felt by many nations including the UK – have created droughts and restrictions on water use, which have had led to dry soil conditions and a hugely negative impact on France’s agricultural sector. 

Green Roof system
A green roof system helping to capture CO2

Initiatives such as ‘green roofs’, a layer of vegetation planted over a waterproofing system that is installed on top of flat or slightly-sloped roof space (see picture above), are increasingly being used all over the world in order to help mitigate the effects of climate change, reducing CO2 in the atmosphere, absorbing rainfall and creating habitats for biodiversity. They also help with energy consumption by regulating temperature variability –insulating it from cold weather in the winter and absorbing the heat in summer.

With countries all over the world feeling the impact of soaring energy prices and climate change, the hope is that more Governments follow suit and implement policies to help combat the urgent problems we face.

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