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Gordon Brown's live TV praise for solar hot water

Labour leader reveals that he has installed solar hot water panels at his Scottish home

Discussing renewable energy in the course of the second of the three leaders’ debates, Gordon Brown emerged as an enthusiast for solar thermal.

Live on Sky News, the Labour leader said, "Another thing I have done, and I am very pleased to have done this in our home in North Queensferry, is that we thought living on a hill with a huge amount of wind and not very good weather in Scotland, as you know, that a wind turbine would be the answer. In fact, we have found that far better, even in this area where there is not much sun is a solar panel and I would recommend people, if they can, to use this form of technology. It allows us to heat our water in a way that is far more environmentally friendly."

An advanced system such as SolarUK’s UK-manufactured LaZer2 does not need direct bright sunshine or high temperatures to work effectively: it only needs daylight, and is therefore well suited to the British climate.

Solar panels are compatible with most hot water systems. An efficient system will provide most of a household’s hot water requirements from April to September while helping to raise the water temperature during the winter months.

Gordon Brown also used the debate to call for a ‘balanced energy plan’, which would include nuclear.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg rejected nuclear power, proposing increased investment in wind and other renewable energy projects.

Conservative leader David Cameron highlighted his party’s ‘Green Deal’, which would give every household access to grants of up to £6500 to spend on energy efficiency measures in the home.

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