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Challenges Facing Solar Power Development in the UK

Solar power has been gaining popularity as a source of renewable energy in the UK due to its numerous benefits. It is clean, sustainable, and helps to reduce carbon emissions, making it a crucial player in the fight against climate change. However, despite the numerous benefits of solar power, there are still several challenges facing its development in the UK. In this blog post, we will take a look at some of the challenges that need to be overcome for solar power to reach its full potential in the UK.

Inadequate Government Support

A view of Westminster

One of the main challenges facing solar power development in the UK is the lack of adequate government support. While the government has set targets for the amount of renewable energy that the country should be producing, the support provided is not enough to achieve these targets. In recent years, government subsidies for solar power have been significantly reduced, making it less attractive to investors.

Additionally, the government has not provided enough financial support to small businesses and homeowners who want to install solar panels. This lack of support has resulted in many people being unable to afford solar power systems, which has slowed down the development of the industry.

Limited Land Availability

Another challenge facing the solar power industry in the UK is the limited availability of land for solar panel installation. The UK has a high population density, and most of the available land is already being used for other purposes. This makes it difficult to find suitable land for solar panel installations, which has limited the potential for solar power development.

Several proposals to build solar farms in the UK have been met with opposition claiming that prime agricultural land will go to waste accommodating solar panels. In March this year, plans to build a large solar farm in Gloucestershire capable of powering 14,000 homes were scuttled after the Forest of Dean District Council voted against the project. The loss of prime agricultural land (173 acres) and the potential of losing protected species were the reasons cited by the council.


In addition, many of the areas that are suitable for solar panel installations are protected areas, such as national parks and nature reserves. This makes it difficult to gain planning permission for solar panel installations in these areas.

selmer solar farm 29MW
A 5mW solar farm can power hundreds of homes but requires about 30 to 40 acres of land

Intermittency of Solar Power

Solar power is an intermittent source of energy, which means that it is not always available. Solar power is generated when the sun is shining, which means that it is not available at night or during cloudy weather. This intermittency makes it difficult to rely solely on solar power for energy generation.

To overcome this challenge, energy storage systems are required to store excess energy generated during sunny periods for use during periods of low generation. However, energy storage systems are currently expensive, which makes them less attractive to investors.

Lack of Public Awareness

solar training
Solar training by green energy futures on Flickr

Another challenge facing solar power development in the UK is the lack of public awareness. Many people are not aware of the benefits of solar power or how it works. This lack of awareness has resulted in a lack of demand for solar power systems, which has slowed down the development of the industry.

To overcome this challenge, there needs to be more public education about solar power and its benefits. The government, together with industry players, should launch campaigns to educate the public about solar power and its potential.


Solar power has the potential to play a significant role in the UK’s energy mix, but there are several challenges that need to be overcome. The challenges discussed in this blog post, including inadequate government support, limited land availability, intermittency of solar power, and lack of public awareness, need to be addressed to enable the solar power industry to reach its full potential in the UK. With the right policies and support, the UK can become a leader in solar power and help to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change.

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