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Solar farm - Photovoltaik_Dachanlage_Hannover_-_Schwarze_Heide_-_1_MW

The Growth And Potential Of Solar Panels In The UK market

Solar energy is becoming increasingly popular as people realize the importance of renewable energy sources in the fight against climate change. Solar panels have been gaining traction in the UK in recent years, and their growth and potential in the market are worth exploring.

The UK’s solar panel industry has experienced significant growth over the past decade. According to the Solar Trade Association, the UK’s installed solar capacity increased from just 22 MW in 2010 to over 13 GW in 2020. This rapid expansion is partly due to the falling cost of solar panels, which have dropped by more than 80% over the past decade.

Solar prices v capacity over time graph

One of the reasons for the growth of solar panels in the UK is the government’s support for renewable energy. In 2010, the UK government introduced the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme, which provided financial incentives for households and businesses to install solar panels.

UK feed in tarrif, encourages the use of renewable energy like solar power
The FIT scheme

Under the scheme, those who generate electricity through solar panels could earn money by selling surplus energy back to the grid. Although the scheme ended in 2019, it helped to establish a thriving solar panel industry in the UK.

Another factor contributing to the growth of solar panels in the UK has increased awareness of the importance of renewable energy sources. Climate change is a pressing issue, and more people are seeking ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Solar panels provide an excellent way for individuals and businesses to generate their electricity while reducing their reliance on fossil fuels.

The UK government has set a target to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. To achieve this, increasing the proportion of electricity generated from renewable sources is essential. Solar energy will play a crucial role in this transition, as it is a clean and abundant energy source.

In addition to reducing carbon emissions, solar panels can save money on energy bills. Although the upfront cost of installing solar panels can be significant, the long-term savings can be substantial. By generating their electricity, households and businesses can reduce their reliance on the grid, which can be costly. Furthermore, any surplus energy generated can be sold back to the grid, providing additional income.

The potential for solar panels in the UK market is vast. As technology improves, solar panels will become more efficient, and their cost will continue to fall. This will make solar energy even more accessible and attractive to individuals and businesses.

Aerial view of Selmar solar farm 20MW
Aerial view of a solar farm

Sectors That Stand to Benefit From the Growth of Solar

One of the most promising areas for solar panels is in the agricultural sector. Farms have large areas of land that are often unused, making them ideal for solar panel installations. Solar panels can provide farmers a source of income while reducing their carbon footprint. The government has recognized the potential of solar panels in agriculture and has launched the Farming Investment Fund to support the installation of solar panels on farms.

Farmers can use land for both agriculture and solar energy generation in a process called agrivoltaics

Another area where solar panels have significant potential is in the commercial sector. Many businesses are seeking ways to reduce their carbon footprint and meet their sustainability targets. Solar panels provide an excellent way to achieve this while also saving money on energy bills. The UK government has launched the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which funds public sector organizations to invest in low-carbon technologies such as solar panels.

The future of solar panels in the UK looks bright. As the government continues to support renewable energy and the public becomes increasingly aware of the importance of reducing carbon emissions, the demand for solar panels will continue to grow. With the falling cost of solar panels, they will become even more accessible, and their potential to save money on energy bills will be even more significant. The UK’s solar panel industry has come a long way in the past decade, and there is no doubt that it has a bright future.

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