What’s going on here?
Escalating energy bills have boosted solar panel sales in the UK, reports the BBC. The trade association Solar Energy UK says “more solar panels are being put on British roofs than ever before.”
What does this mean?
Solar panel providers are carrying out more than 3,000 installations a week, according to Solar Energy UK. Those 3,000 setups are three times the number that were bolted onto people’s roofs just two years ago.
For one busy renewable tech company, enquiries about solar power jumped tenfold in August. And solar panel business MyPower has enjoyed a 350% boost in demand so far this year, reports Farmers Weekly. In 2021, it installed 7,000 panels on farm buildings. In 2022, this has shot up to 27,000.
Why should we care?
Aside from the obvious benefit to the climate, putting solar panels on your roof shrinks the amount of electricity you need from the grid. A report for Solar Energy UK suggests a typical home could save more than £300 a year on bills.
But without an upfront investment of thousands of pounds, solar energy is not that accessible. Solar Energy UK says a “typical” 3.1kWp system for a three-bed home costs £3,925.
The good news is prices have fallen by over 60% in 10 years. And once a quality solar panel system has paid for itself, it can provide a reliable source of renewable electricity for decades.
Retired RAF pilot Colin Froude installed solar panels on his home 11 years ago. He covered the costs in about seven years and is now saving up to £80 a month. “I’ve never regretted it”, says Colin.
- For more things to bear in mind while you ponder putting panels on your roof, read the full BBC report on the solar boom
- Find out if solar panels are right for you and how much you could save in Energy Saving Trust’s guide
- There’s another type of solar energy “a little bit like an enormous magnifying glass”: read our 2019 report on ‘concentrated solar power’