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  • Writer's pictureSimon Mosdal

Looking at the UK’s energy sources: solar power

The sun might not always be shining in the UK, but solar power is increasingly brightening the country's energy landscape.


Solar panels, made from photovoltaic (PV) cells, convert sunlight into electricity. When sunlight hits the panels, it creates an electric current that can be used for power.


The UK has a significant potential for solar power generation. Advances in technology have driven down costs, making solar panels a more accessible option for homeowners and businesses. Additionally, the UK government offers incentives like feed-in tariffs, encouraging investment in solar energy.


While solar power offers a clean and sustainable alternative, challenges remain. Solar energy production is variable, as it relies entirely on sunlight availability (which, as we all know, is not always abundant in Britain). This necessitates efficient energy storage solutions to use captured solar energy during peak demand periods. Additionally, the upfront cost of installing solar panels can be a barrier for some.


Despite these challenges, the UK is experiencing a solar boom. The country's solar capacity has been steadily increasing, with millions of solar panels already installed across homes and rooftops. The government's commitment to net zero by 2050 further emphasises the importance of solar power.


Solar power is poised to play a vital role in the UK's energy mix. By addressing storage challenges and making solar solutions more accessible, the UK can harness the power of the sun for a cleaner and brighter energy future.


Pros of solar power:


  • Renewable and sustainable energy source.

  • Clean energy production, no greenhouse gas emissions during operation.

  • Low maintenance costs after installation.

  • Can be installed on rooftops or larger solar farms.

  • Potential for energy independence and reduced reliance on imports.


Cons of solar power:


  • High upfront installation costs.

  • Reliant on sunlight, so energy production is variable.

  • Requires sufficient storage solutions for excess energy.

  • Large-scale solar farms can have land-use impacts.


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The UK Zero logo beside a phone with the UK Zero home screen showing the UK's energy mix on the 11th May 2023.


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