How much solar could Bolton generate?

How much solar could Bolton generate?

May 23, 2024

We wanted to estimate how much solar energy the roofs of Bolton could generate if everyone of them was installed with a Solar Energy System.

So we got a few details and started. The below is how we worked it all out and what the potential output of Bolton Solar Panel Co. would be.

  1. Population and Housing:
  2. As of the latest data, Bolton has a population of approximately 285,000 people.
  3. Using the UK average household size of 2.4 people, we get about 118,750 households in Bolton.
  4. Average Roof Space per Household:
  5. Assuming the same average roof space of 35 square meters per household:
  6. Total Residential Roof Space=
  7. 118,750 households × 35 square metres = 4,156,250 square metres
  8. Commercial and Industrial Buildings:
  9. Applying the same assumption that commercial and industrial buildings provide an additional 25% of the roof space:
  10. Total Non-Residential Roof Space= 0.25 × 4,156,250 square meters= 1,039
  11. Total Roof Space:
  12. Total Roof Space in Bolton =
  13. 4,156,250 square meters + 1,039,062.5 square meters = 5,195,312.5 square meters

Potential Electricity Generation

  1. Assuming 20% Efficiency:
  2. Total Usable Area = 5,195,312.5 square meters × 20% = 1,039,062.5 square meters
  3. Average Solar Irradiance in Bolton:
  4. Bolton has an average solar irradiance similar to the UK average, about 1,100 kWh/m²/year.
  5. Performance Ratio:
  6. Effective Energy Generated per square meter = 1,100 kWh/m2/year × 0.8 = 880 kWh/m2/year
  7. Total Energy Generation:
  8. Total Energy Generated = 1,039,062.5 square meters × 880 kWh/m2/year = 914,375,000 kWh/year


If all the estimated roof space in Bolton (approximately 5,195,312.5 square meters) were covered with solar panels operating at 20% efficiency and considering a performance ratio of 0.8, it could generate approximately 914 million kWh per year.

Pretty cool to think that a town the size of Bolton could produce so much green electricity if we utilised all the roof space available.

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Alan Armstead
Alan Armstead

Alan has been working in Solar since 2010 and has vast experience installing, fixing and commissioning residential and commercial solar systems


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