Is the UK racing ahead of the US when it comes to solar panel installation?
In May this year, the UK attracted everyone’s attention by declaring that it generated 24.3 percent of its overall power demand with the help of photovoltaic panels installed in fields and roof tops of offices as well as residential buildings in various parts of the UK.
Most of the newspaper reports highlighted the point that the UK reached a milestone in May when it comes to solar power because it started with almost zero percentage before seven years. Experts suggest that this was possible due to sunny weather and lower demand even in spite of summer. The solar power generated in May was good enough to power 3.8 million houses.
According to the report published by The Guardian, usually, the overall contribution from solar power, wind power and nuclear power plants in the UK remains around 50 percent. However, in May, these low carbon sources contributed 60 percent of the energy, thanks to the increase in solar power utilization.
Power transmission network-National Grid manages the power supply and demand related aspects in Great Britain. Duncan Burt is their executive responsible for day to day operations. While interacting with journalists about the share of solar power, he said the agency is excited about the significant role played by solar power.
He shared his opinion that this is the result of their agency’s efforts taken with other government departments to ensure that the energy landscape changes with time. He also pointed out that the agency is equipped with necessary tools to ensure demand and supply balance.
The UK Government’s initiatives played an important role
Greenpeace’s head of energy-Hannah Martin also shared her opinion on this matter. She pointed out that this percentage shows the UK Government can achieve a lot if it offers more support to promote clean technologies, including solar power. According to her, this can help in generating hundreds of jobs, creating new business opportunities and help in increasing clean energy’s percentage during the next few decades.
Britain is using coal power since 1882, but the game started changing since March this year. The power demand from certain commercial as well as residential areas in March during afternoon time was as low as the demand reported during the night time. This cut was due to solar panels installed in those areas. Even tiny house solar panels can prove to be useful.
University of Sheffield’s solar power expert Alastair Buckley also interacted with media persons and shared his point of view. He said the solar power percentage is a remarkable achievement. Solar power is free and people should try to benefit the most of it. Buckley also criticized the governments around the world for reducing subsidies offered on solar power generation and said new records would be set during the coming years.
According to Alastair Buckley, National Grid can easily manage increased proportion of solar power so that power generated from gas power stations can be reduced with time, depending on the weather.