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Is it still worth installing solar panels in the UK?

Published on:
21 July 2023

The UK has been making significant strides in its transition towards renewable energy sources, with solar power being a major player in this transformation. However, as the energy landscape evolves and government incentives change, prospective solar panel buyers may wonder if it is still worth installing solar panels. In this blog, we will explore the current state of solar power in the UK to help homeowners make an informed decision about the viability and benefits of installing solar panels.

The Evolution of Solar Power in the UK

Over the past decade, solar power has experienced remarkable growth in the UK. According to the Solar Trade Association (STA), solar energy installations have surpassed 13 GW (gigawatts) capacity by 2021, and it’s still rising to this day, providing clean electricity to thousands of homes and businesses. Gigawatts are normally used to measure the energy of large-scale power plants – one gigawatt =1,000 megawatts. Falling installation costs, improved technology, and a growing environmental consciousness amongst the public have fueled this growth.

Reduction in Solar Panel Costs

One of the key factors driving the popularity of solar panels in the UK is the continuous reduction in installation costs. Online sources have reported that the cost of solar panel installations has decreased by over 80% since 2010. These lower costs have made solar power more accessible to a broader range of homeowners, increasing the potential return on investment.

Government Incentives and Support

In the past, government incentives like the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) played a significant role in encouraging solar panel installations by providing financial rewards to homeowners for generating renewable energy. Although the Feed-In Tariff scheme is now closed to new applicants, the UK government has introduced alternative support measures to promote renewable energy adoption.

One such initiative is the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), which ensures that homeowners are paid for surplus electricity exported back to the grid. Under the SEG scheme, electricity suppliers with over 150,000 customers must offer a tariff for exported electricity. While the rates may vary between suppliers, this incentive can still contribute to the financial viability of solar installations.

Environmental Impact and Sustainability

Climate change and environmental concerns remain at the forefront of global discussions, and adopting solar energy is an effective way for homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint. Solar power is a clean and renewable energy source that produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation, contributing to the UK’s efforts to combat climate change and move towards a greener future.

Energy Independence and Cost Savings

Another significant advantage of installing solar panels is the potential for energy independence and long-term cost savings. By generating your electricity, you can reduce reliance on the national grid and reduce the risk of future electricity price fluctuations. While the initial investment in solar panels may seem substantial in the beginning, the long-term benefits will pay off your initial investment, depending on various factors such as location, system size, and energy consumption.

Solar Panel Efficiency and Advancements

Advancements in solar technology have resulted in increased panel efficiency, enabling homeowners to generate more electricity from the same surface area. Innovations like bifacial (having two surfaces) solar panels, which capture sunlight from both sides of the panel, and solar roof tiles, seamlessly integrated into the roof design, are becoming more readily available, further enhancing the appeal of solar installations.

Sunlight Availability in the UK

The UK’s reputation for cloudy weather can raise concerns about solar energy generation. While it is true that countries with more consistent sunlight, like southern Europe, may see higher solar energy yields, the UK still receives adequate sunlight to make solar panels efficient. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) reports that the UK receives an average of 3.8 hours of sunlight per day, which is sufficient for effective solar panel operation.

To Sum Up

Despite changes in government incentives and the evolution of the solar energy market, installing solar panels remains a viable and worthwhile option. The continuous reduction in installation costs, the availability of government support through initiatives like the Smart Export Guarantee, and the growing awareness of environmental sustainability make solar power an attractive choice for homeowners.

Solar panels not only offer the opportunity to reduce carbon emissions and contribute to a greener future but also provide long-term energy independence and potential cost savings. Advancements in solar technology make solar panel installations a smart investment for homeowners seeking to embrace renewable energy and take control of their energy consumption.

While it’s essential to conduct a thorough assessment of your specific circumstances and consult with reputable solar installers, investing in solar panels in the UK can still be a wise and environmentally responsible decision.

Contact us today at 01482 230 422 or info@eastyorkshiresolar.co.uk for your FREE quote and to see how we can help your household in installing solar panels.