Installed solar photovoltaic capacity grows from 2.8GW to nearly 5GW as industry hails ‘milestone achievement’
Solar power almost doubled in the last year, with 650,000 installations ranging from solar farms to panels on homes, figures showed.
By the end of 2014 there was almost five gigawatts (5GW) of solar photovoltaic panels installed, up from 2.8GW at the end of 2013, the Department of Energy and Climate Change figures showed.
The solar industry said there were now enough panels installed in the UK to supply the equivalent of 1.5m homes.
Paul Barwell, chief executive of the Solar Trade Association said: “This milestone achievement is testament to the hard work of Britain’s several thousand solar businesses, almost of all of them small and medium sized companies, who are all at the forefront of a real solar transformation as the technology steadily becomes one of the cheapest sources of clean, home-grown power.”
Homes, offices, schools, churches, warehouses, farms, police stations, train stations and even a bridge have all had panels installed, the industry said.
Barwell added: “Analysis has shown that solar is the most popular form of energy generation, and could provide 50,000 jobs by 2030 if given the right support.
“Solar clearly works in Britain. Panels in London generate 65% as much energy as in Madrid, and the panels work more efficiently in cooler temperatures.”
The industry believes solar electricity could be cost competitive with gas by 2020 and need no government support at all on homes and commercial roofs – if there is a stable framework and a level playing field for the technology.