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11/02/2020

How Many Homes Have Solar Panels in the UK?

Solar panels are becoming more common across the globe, as businesses and individuals look to become less reliant on conventional energy and reduce their carbon footprint. But how many homes have solar panels in the UK?

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the number of UK homes with solar panels and how the trend has grown over time.

An increasing trend…

Since the early 1990s, the growth of solar energy – and the photovoltaic (PV) technology that facilitates it – has been pretty much exponential. In 1992, the UK’s PV capacity stood at just 0.2 Mega Watts (MW).

That crept up to 1.1 MW by 1999, 10.9 MW in 2005 and 904 MW in 2011. By 2015, that figure had risen to 8,917 MW. However, the majority of this is from industrial solar projects, such as Shotwick Solar Park in Flintshire, which has thousands of solar panels covering a 250-acre site. So, how about homes?

How many UK homes have solar panels?

In 2015, a report on behalf of the European Commission looked into the self-generation of energy across Europe. The report found that there were approximately 755,000 homes with solar panels in the UK

That’s a 2.7% share of all UK households, which was projected to increase to:

  • 825,000 or 2.8% by 2020
  • 918,000 or 3% by 2025
  • 1,089,000 or 3.5% by 2030

How much energy does that produce?

The report also estimated the PV capacity of all the solar panels installed on homes across the UK. It gave a total of 2,499 MW in 2015, which was projected to increase to:

  • 2,681 MW by 2020
  • 2,983 MW by 2025
  • 3,540 MW by 2030

To put those figures into context, the average UK home uses 3,700 kWh or 3.7 MWh per year.

Can solar panels power a whole house?

This is a question on many homeowners’ minds before investing in their own solar panels. The answer? It depends on your energy use and the size of the installation. The amount of energy produced (kWh or MWh) depends not only on the capacity of the installation (kW or MW), but also the amount of daylight and position it’s facing.

To produce 3,700 kWh in the UK, you would typically need an installation of at least 4kW in capacity.

How solar batteries help

You will naturally get more solar power in the summer than the winter, and much more daylight through the day with less in the evening. This can pose a problem if you’re looking to not only save money, but become totally energy independent.

That’s where solar batteries come in. They allow you to store energy that’s generated by your solar panels and use it whenever required.

UK solar panel experts

NBEC is a team of renewable energy specialists based in South Yorkshire. If you’re looking to install solar panels on your home, we can provide the optimal solution. Whether it’s a 4kW system with a solar battery or something smaller to feed back into the grid, we’ll guide you through the process with expert advice every step of the way.

Contact us today to arrange a free quote.

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