By DARA BUTTERFIELD
As people across much of Britain enjoy the heatwave, solar homes, commercial solar rooftops and solar farms across the country are to open their doors today (3 July) as part of Solar Independence Day 2015 – the UK solar power industry’s annual celebration of sun power.
Locations in Scotland opening their doors to the public include Edinburgh College, Cronan Farm in Perthshire, and Pitmedden, a stately home in Aberdeenshire.
During the event analysis from the Solar Trade Association has predicted that at 2pm solar power could be supplying an impressive 15% of UK power demand due to the strong sunlight.
Paul Barwell, Chief Executive, Solar Trade Association, said: “It is great to see so many solar homeowners and businesses get involved in Solar Independence Day, showing how solar really gives power back to the people, allowing households and business to generate their own clean, green electricity.
At more than 80% public support, solar has been shown in government opinion polls to be the country’s most popular form of energy.”
Meanwhile, accountancy firm PwC is set to launch a report on Monday entitled ‘How can UK solar continue to shine?’. The report will look at the current status of the solar industry in the UK further to an in-depth survey conducted in partnership with the Solar Trade Association.
It is estimated that the UK now has almost 8GW of solar PV, across homes, offices, schools, warehouses and in solar farms. This is enough to power the equivalent of 2.4million homes securing 30,000 jobs in the sector and its supply chain. According to the latest statistics, there are currently 660,000 solar homes, 30,000 solar schools, leisure centres and small commercial rooftops although only 1,300 large solar rooftops in the UK.
Junior UK Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom commented: “Solar is an integral part of the UK’s energy mix. It’s great to see industry initiatives like this boosting confidence and take-up, so families and businesses can benefit from low-carbon energy and lower bills.”