The UK solar industry had plenty of reasons to celebrate its third “Solar Independence Day” on Monday, with the UK’s solar trade body, the Solar Trade Association (STA), announcing that solar generation peaked early in June at 23.9% of UK electricity demand — a new record for the
According to the STA, the UK now has almost 12 GW of solar PV installed, across homes, offices, schools, warehouses, and a number of solar farms. This equates to being able to power the equivalent of 3.8 million homes.
The STA also notes that new analysis from MyGridGB is responsible for determining that a new solar generation peak of 23.9% of UK electricity demand took place during June. Using information provided by PV Sheffield, which monitors UK solar PV generation in collaboration with National Grid, it is likely that the peak demand occurred sometime during the middle of the day on June 5.
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“The UK has successfully deployed almost 12GW of solar across the UK, providing nearly 25% during peak generation,” said Paul Barwell, CEO of the Solar Trade Association. “This is what the country and the world needs to decarbonise the energy sector at the lowest price to the consumer. The Government’s adoption of the fifth carbon budget is a good long-term signal in this regard.”
Monday was therefore filled with reason to celebrate the UK’s third Solar Independence Day.
“Solar Independence Day is about celebrating what a large group of small and medium sized businesses can achieve in a short period of time,” added Barwell. “We now need just one more push from the Government to help the solar sector reach its objective of zero subsidy by the early 2020s.”
The STA also unveiled a new initiative on Monday, one intended to raise standards in the maintenance of big rooftop solar and ground mount solar systems.
“With this initiative we want to raise standards and establish best practice across the UK in solar PV operations and maintenance, making sure people are aware that preventative action can avoid costly corrective action later,” said Mark Turner, Chair of the Solar Trade Association Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Working Group and Managing Director of Lightsource Renewable Energy. “Solar PV plants have no moving parts but are power plants like any other, and therefore safety has to be our primary concern.”