Sunny weather and a recent surge in solar panel installations means that solar power could provide a record 15% of the UK’s electricity on Friday afternoon.
Torrid heat tends to slightly reduce solar panels’ generating capacities, and with fresher conditions forecast across much of the UK, the amount of solar in the electricity mix could reach a new peak at 2pm tomorrow.
“It is hard to say if a record will be set but given that more and more solar is installed every day, it is likely that a new record is set every time we have good conditions now – and this week we are certainly having them,” said a spokeswoman for the Solar Trade Association (STA), which made the prediction.
A new clean energy record would be a boost for the solar industry which celebrates its annual ‘solar independence day’ tomorrow with open house events across the UK. Energy minister Andrea Leadsom will be visiting one solar farm at a leisure centre in Brackley, Northamptonshire.
Solar photovoltaic installations have soared recently in the UK, partly due to developers rushing to meet a change in subsidy regime in April. There are now around 700,000 small-scale installations now on the grid, enough to power over 655,000 households, according to government figures. Britain is currently installing solar capacity more quickly than any other European country.
The supermarket giant Waitrose today announced that it had installed enough solar panels on the roof of one of its dairy farms in Leckford to power the lighting and milking equipment.
Globally, another solar milestone was passed today with installed solar capacity of 200GW now available to meet global demand, according to BSW, the German solar trade association.
“Through technological breakthroughs in mass production the prices for solar electricity could be decreased by 90%,” said David Wedepohl, a BSW spokesman. “In around 30 countries worldwide electricity from your own roof now costs less than what your local provider will charge you per kilowatt hour.”
With a 36% annual growth rate, the solar photovoltaic industry is mushrooming so fast at the moment that some analysts expect that half the current global total will be being installed every year by 2020.
Read More: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/02/solar-power-provide-record-15-uk-power