Solar Energy UK: 50GW Solar Capacity Needed by 2030

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Solar Energy UK recently published a manifesto stating that the industry needs to reach 50GW of solar capacity by 2030, complemented by 30GW of energy storage. Here’s our take:

Accelerating Solar Capacity

Currently, the UK’s solar capacity stands at approximately 15.6GW. Achieving the 2030 target will require tripling this capacity. This expansion is expected to create approximately 13,000 new jobs and generate £17 billion in additional economic activity. Moreover, the environmental impact is substantial, with potential annual carbon emission reductions of 21.2 million tonnes, equating to a 4.7% decrease from 2019 levels.

The Role of Energy Storage

Integral to this expansion is the development of 30GW of energy storage. Effective energy storage solutions are crucial to managing the intermittent nature of solar power, ensuring a steady and reliable energy supply. This infrastructure is vital for stabilising the grid and maximising the benefits of solar energy. By flattening spikes in electricity demand, energy storage will also help lower electricity costs for consumers and enhance overall energy security.

Solar Installation in the UK

Legislative Support and Market Dynamics

Recent legislative proposals further bolster the solar industry’s growth. A YouGov poll reveals that 79% of MPs support mandatory solar panels for all new-build homes from 2025. This overwhelming support underscores a broader recognition of solar energy’s role in achieving net-zero targets and reducing energy bills for homeowners.

The Future Homes Standard, set to come into force next year, will significantly impact the construction of new homes. Under this standard, all new homes will need to meet higher energy efficiency and renewable energy standards, effectively banning fossil fuel heating systems. This move is expected to drive the adoption of solar panels and battery storage systems, further supporting the government’s net-zero ambitions.

Economic and Environmental Impact

Mandatory solar installations on new homes are projected to significantly lower energy bills, with savings estimated between £910 to £2,120 annually per household. Additionally, integrating battery storage systems in new homes could further enhance these benefits by providing greater energy security and efficiency. The economic benefits extend beyond individual homeowners, contributing to job creation and stimulating economic growth in the renewable energy sector.

Global Investment Trends

In a related development, the International Energy Agency (IEA) announced that investment in solar PV is set to surpass all other technologies combined in 2024. This trend highlights the global shift towards renewable energy and underscores the strategic importance of solar power in addressing both environmental and economic challenges. According to the IEA, global solar PV investments are expected to reach $380 billion in 2024, reflecting a 25% increase from the previous year.

This surge in investment is driven by several factors, including declining costs of solar technology, increasing demand for clean energy, and supportive government policies worldwide. The IEA estimates that solar PV will account for 60% of the global increase in renewable power capacity through 2024, demonstrating its pivotal role in the energy transition.

You can read more in our recent post here.

Policy and Market Dynamics

To reach these ambitious goals, significant policy support and regulatory changes are required. Recommendations include reforming business rates, eliminating VAT on solar energy systems, and maintaining eligibility for government-led clean power auctions. Enhanced building standards and incentives for retrofitting solar on homes and public buildings are also crucial.

The industry calls for a swift and decisive policy shift to facilitate this growth. Solar Energy UK, a key industry body, has been vocal in its advocacy for these changes, emphasizing that solar energy, combined with robust storage solutions, can substantially reduce the UK’s carbon footprint and contribute to energy security.

The Road Ahead

The path to achieving these targets is clear but challenging. It requires coordinated efforts between the government, industry stakeholders, and the public. The benefits, however, are substantial: a cleaner, more resilient energy system, economic growth, and a significant step towards the UK’s net-zero ambitions.

At PowerMarket, we are dedicated to supporting this transition by providing innovative solutions for mapping real estate rooftops for solar and offering solar offtake services. Our tools and services are designed to help stakeholders navigate the complexities of solar deployment efficiently and effectively.

For more detailed insights and to stay updated on the progress towards these goals, keep following our updates and industry reports. For more detailed information, you can visit Solar Energy UK’s latest news and publications sections.

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