The UK government recently said Britain could reach a level of solar power that would generate 4% of its electricity. This is very different from another estimate which said less than one percent of Britain’s electricity would come from solar by 2030.
Solar panels costs have plunged though, so the government revised its numbers. Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey made some key remarks about what the UK’s solar future might look like: “He said he expected up to 14 GW of solar by 2020 – up from 5 GW at the end of 2014. That equates roughly to 1.5% of total UK annual electricity to just under 4%. He said he expected it to grow further in the next decade.”
However, the government will no longer subsidize large-scale solar farms. These are facilities with 5 MW of solar or more. Of course, we all know that national economies are emerging from the worst recession in decades. Supporting a fledgling industry like solar power seems to be both reasonable and future-forward, especially considering that new solar installations create jobs that are skilled and generally pay decently.
Both solar and wind power need support at the policy level, but politics too often has a way of interfering with the development of renewable energy. Conservative politicians frequently have ties to the fossil fuel industry, and some of them work strenuously to hold back anything that could hurt it.
Meanwhile, millions around the world die prematurely from exposure to harmful air pollution, and the planet suffers due to climate change emissions. Fortunately, average citizens can be better informed and more sensible than some politicians, and vote with their dollars by purchasing home solar systems.
The UK has been said to have a climate that doesn’t seem suitable for solar, but Germany is hardly a sun-kissed child of the tropics, and yet has become a world leader in solar power.
Source: CleanTechnica. Reproduced with permission.