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UK’s 1m solar homes

The UK now has a million homes with solar PV or solar thermal technology
UK’s 1m solar homes. Picture from MyGreenPod Sustainable News

New analysis from the Solar Trade Association shows that the UK has now reached its 1 million solar homes milestone – if you count both solar PV and solar thermal.

Solarising London – capital lags behind all other British cities and regions when it comes to solar

The figures

Recent statistics released by DECC show that there are now 800,000 homes with solar PV electricity panels.

The solar trade body also estimates that there are 250,000 homes that have solar thermal hot water heating panels.

There is no official figure for the total number of solar thermal homes as many were installed before the Renewable Heat Incentive, but the Solar Trade Association estimates that there’s 775,000m2 of solar thermal in operation in the UK. Using a standard assumption of 3 m2 per domestic installation, that gives 258,000 homes.

Put the two solar technologies together and that makes over 1 million solar homes in all.

‘DECC’s latest data prove the British solar industry can deliver the large volumes of clean power we need, and fast. However, the data also show relatively poor levels of deployment of solar on larger buildings like schools, factories and warehouses, where this technology is particularly efficient and cost-effective.

‘We are very concerned that Government policy is now severely constraining growth across these prime rooftops. Worse, there is effectively no meaningful support now in the UK for solar schemes over 1MW in size. That cannot be right.’

Leonie Greene, Solar Trade Association

Getting behind solar

The latest figures show that larger solar rooftops represent only 10-15% of the market – much less than in other European countries. The UK now has 9GW of solar PV in total, according to official statistics.

This milestone has been reached just as the solar revolution is taking off worldwide – yet it also coincides with major cuts in support to solar PV in the UK, as well as the government’s proposal to hike VAT up from 5% to 20% on residential solar PV and solar thermal.

‘We hope that Government will heed calls from right across the energy sector to get fully behind solar power again. Solar sits at the heart of a modern power system so the UK needs to channel precious investment towards clean technologies that can best secure our future.’

Leonie Greene, Solar Trade Association

Click here to find out more about the Solar Trade Association and its work to empower the UK’s solar transformation.

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