Solar Power in the United Kingdom

February 10, 2023

Whilst we will never be able to compete with The Sahara, The UK gets a lot of sun. Enough that the average household with solar panels fitted will produce 21% more electricity per year than they need. But despite this, there is still a certain level of hesitation surrounding the effectiveness of solar energy. Here's what you need to know about solar power in Britain and why it matters.

Solar power is the fastest growing energy source in the United Kingdom. The country's solar capacity has significantly increased over the past decade and has grown by 24% since Q4 2020. 

Solar power is also a significant employer and the number of jobs continues to grow each year as more workers enter this growing field. It’s predicted that by 2035 there will be more than 60,000 jobs across all industries related to solar energy in Britain - from manufacturing through installation, maintenance and construction roles.

In addition to providing jobs for many Britons onshore, solar companies also contribute significantly through taxes paid at both national and local levels as well as investments made into community projects such as schools or sports centres around their sites.

The early history of solar power in the UK

In April 2010, the UK’s Feed-in Tariff was launched which led to a huge lead in solar panel installations. 

The country has since been a leader in solar technology, including the development of photovoltaic cells and other components. In 2008, solar panels were producing just one megawatt of electricity in England and in 2020, they were accounting for a huge 11,730 megawatts. 

The government has invested heavily in solar power research and continues to do more each year; however, most companies involved with renewable energy are small businesses due to high costs associated with manufacturing as well as competition from larger firms who can produce cheaper products (such as China).

Renewable energy in the UK today

Renewable energy is growing in the UK, accounting for 36.6% of electricity generation in Q3 2022.

Renewable energy can be used as an alternative to fossil fuels, or it can be used alongside fossil fuels. The renewable energy industry in the UK includes companies that build wind turbines and solar panels; those that produce biofuels; those that make batteries or other technologies needed for storing power; and others who provide engineering services related to these industries' products.

Solar power as a national priority?

Solar power is a growing industry in the United Kingdom. However, it still has a long way to go before it can be considered a national priority.

In order for solar power production to reach greater levels, more government support will need to be provided to educate the nation on the benefits of solar power and the rewards it will bring families and businesses. Currently the Government is providing a range of grants that will support the upfront costs of investing in solar energy. You can use ECO4 to apply for solar panel grants until April 2027, which could mean you get either a fully funded solar panel system, or save substantial amounts of money.

Solar power is a renewable energy source, meaning it's not depleted by use. It's also clean and sustainable, so it doesn't pollute the environment or contribute to climate change. They produce no emissions or waste products as part of their operation and require minimal maintenance over time as long as you keep them clean! Solar panels are reliable because they don't need any fuel for operation - they harness sunlight to generate electricity when placed in direct sunlight (plus they'll still work during cloudy days). And finally, solar panels are cost-effective compared with other forms of electricity generation.

The potential of solar power in the UK is huge, and looking at previous years growth, and  future predictions, it will soon be a significant player in the UKs energy mix. If you're considering installing solar panels at your home or business, talk with our experts today!

Keep up to date with our latest news with our newsletter.