Live updates

All aboard the nation's first 'solar powered buses'

It's a first not just for Brighton, but for the country. Two electric buses - powered by solar energy - have arrived in the city and are about to pick up passengers day and night.

They're completely carbon neutral and they hope to lead the charge in a revolution in sustainable transport.

Andy Dickenson reports and speaks to Norman Baker, Tom Druitt and Julia Fry.

Fears for solar projects across the south

A historic agreement was made in Paris last month with a commitment to reduce carbon emissions around the world.

Yet many solar projects in our region have already been abandoned - and those that remain fear they will suffer because of cuts of 65% in Government subsidies which could mean the loss of thousands of jobs in the industry.

Andy Dickenson reports.

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Will this be one of the last solar farms?

They have been springing up in fields and other locations across our region - and solar farms now operate in all of our counties,

One of the newest solar farms is at Tangmere in Sussex. It's been built by the local authority and can power hundreds of homes.

But, with changes on the horizon in government funding, it could be one of the last. Andy Dickenson reports.

Go-ahead given for 90,000 panel solar farm

One of the company's smaller sites Credit: ITV
Tne solar panels will be installed in these fields Credit: ITV

The go-ahead has been given today for a 90,000 panel solar farm, planned on land owned by Dorset South MP Richard Drax at Mapperton. East Dorset District Council's planning committee deferred making a decision on 23 June because they said they needed to make a site visit. Seven councillors voted for the project and three against. There has been strong opposition from campaigners. The energy company is Wiltshire-based Good Energy. More shortly.

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Harvesting the sunshine, solar farms set to soar

The number of solar farms in the South East is set to soar.

One of the latest could cover 66 acres and is planned for Great Tong Farm, South of Maidstone. Campaigners say it will ruin the local environment. But those in favour - feel we've got to produce more renewable energy.

The number of solar farms are increasing. In the south east region - so far, 44 have been built; 45 are under construction or awaiting construction - and planning applications are in for a further 37.

The developers of the site at Tong Farm told us :

"We believe that solar energy supports rural communities and we consult at every stage of the process."

Sarah Saunders spoke to Shellina Prendergast from Protect Our Weald; Hilary Newport from the Campaign for Rural England and Paul Barwell form the Solar Trade Association.

Public meeting for largest solar farm in the country

As planning applications for new solar farms soar, proposals for one of the country's largest solar developments is meeting stiff local opposition.

The solar farm would cover 66 acres at Great Tong Farm near Maidstone.

At a public meeting tonight, residents and industry representatives will air their views.

ITV Meridian spoke to local resident Shellina Prendergast.

South's paramedics the first to use solar power

Solar panels fitted to one of the Rapid Response Vehicles Credit: SCAS

Ambulances in the south have become the first in the country to use solar panels.

South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust has installed the energy producing cells on 36 of its Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs).

They supply power to the secondary battery system that powers all emergency equipment onboard.

Green Team Co-ordinator Brian Miller said: "We are taking the initiative to reduce fuel consumption, fuel and battery replacement costs, the Trust’s carbon footprint and the need for RRVs to return to base and traditional shoreline systems to recharge vehicle batteries."