Solar electricity generation almost doubled last year, with almost 5GW of capacity at the end of 2014 up from 2.8GW at the end of 2013. This is enough power to supply the equivalent of 1.5million homes.
The statistics, part of numbers released on a monthly basis by DECC, reflect steady growth in the UK solar industry and rapidly falling costs, much of which in the large-scale solar sector.
The UK now has over 650,000 solar installations, across homes, offices, schools, churches, warehouses, farms, police stations, train stations and even a bridge.
Paul Barwell, Chief Executive, Solar Trade Association, commented:“We are now well underway to a million solar installations, of all shapes and sizes, across the country.
“Analysis has shown that solar is the most popular form of energy generation, and could provide 50,000 jobs by 2030 if given the right support.
“Solar clearly works in Britain. Panels in London generate 65% as much energy as in Madrid, and the panels work more efficiently in cooler temperatures.”
“Solar could by 2020 be cost competitive with gas and no longer need any kind of Government support at all on homes and commercial roofs. But we will only reach that point if government provides a stable policy framework and a level playing field with other technologies.”
The Solar Trade Association has developed a Solar Independence Plan, and is urging the government and all political parties to support the proposals which will effectively double solar ambitions for little extra cost.
Editor’s Note: This photo is perhaps the only way many readers will be seeing sunshine this week!