The Pokemon Go of clean energy: solar treasure hunting app launched today.


Launched today at sunrise, a new solar prospecting app, Look Up, aims to help Brits put the fossil fuel era behind them and realise the power of sunshine.

Developed by carbon-cutting charity 10:10, the app provides some Pokémon GO style fun to the often technical and depressing topic of energy. Developed as a nation-wide solar treasure hunt, there are prizes for players who log the largest solar potential before British Summer Time ends on the 30th October.

To play Look Up, users simply spot rooftops that could host solar panels. These might be at home, on the highstreet, in an industrial park, on a cowshed, a school, or somewhere else entirely. The app takes users through a few simple steps logging the roof’s orientation and any shade around it, as well as connecting with Google Earth and the phone’s camera to add the roof to the national Look Up database.

Britain might not be known for its sunshine, but UK solar power has rapidly expanded in recent years. Figures released by the government this summer showed a doubling of solar PV panels installed since 2015. Installations in 2015 were themselves almost double that of 2014. Britain's first solar home wasn’t plugged in until 1995, but this February we reached the 1 million solar homes milestone.

Solar power is exceptionally popular in the UK. Latest polling from the Department of Energy and Climate Change shows 80% of the public support solar. In comparison, only 19% support fracking.

The solar industry in the UK has suffered from drastic government cuts in the last year and an more than half of all 35,000 UK solar jobs have been lost as a result. However, there is a lot of untapped solar capacity in the UK. 10:10 hope this app will not only help log rooftops which could host solar, but engage the public with clean energy.

Alice Bell, head of communications at 10:10, said:

“Once you start looking for possible solar sites it can get really addictive. Taking action on climate change doesn’t have to be a matter of graphs, grids, floods and dying polar bears. It can be a playful, adventurous re-imagining of how we design our futures. During the coal age, we got used to the idea of chimneys on roofs but now it’s time for something different. It’s time to stop digging for fossil fuels and Look Up to the power of wind and solar.”

Cecily Spelling, project manager for Solar Schools, said:

“British solar has grown so much in recent years, and still has so much untapped potential. It's been devastating to see the cuts shut down so much important work, but it's not the end of the story. Even if these rooftops don't get developed tomorrow, they will next year or the year after, because ultimately our shift to low carbon energy is unstoppable."

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Hi-res photos of Look Up in use are available:

Notes to editors: