In the UK, green energy is having a moment. MCS, which is the body that sets standards for renewable tech, says more households than ever will be installing solar panels and heat pumps in 2023.
The number jumped by 62% from last year, averaging 17,000 new solar panel installations per month, according to reports from Energy Live News and The Guardian.
Battery tech is also on the rise. Over 1,000 batteries were installed in UK homes and businesses in the first half of this year alone. Gareth Simkins of Solar Energy UK believes the initial estimate of 215,000 solar installations for the year will be easily surpassed, likely hitting around 250,000. He said that people are catching on to the financial and environmental perks of going solar.
The UK government has ambitious goals. It aims for a solar capacity of 70 gigawatts by 2025 and plans to install 600,000 heat pumps by 2028. Grants are fueling these installations. Just in the first half of this year, 17,920 heat pumps were installed.
However, MCS points out there’s a need for more skilled installers to meet the heat pump goal. They estimate that about 50,000 workers will be needed.
On the bright side, more than 850 new contractors received their MCS certification this year, beating last year’s total.
MCS Chief Executive Ian Rippin highlighted that as energy costs soar, more people are leaning into renewable tech. He called for making the transition even smoother to meet the UK’s net-zero targets by 2050.
Interestingly, the UK’s small-scale renewables have a capacity of 4 GW, nearly double that of Europe’s largest gas power plant near Pembroke, Wales. Bean Beanland of the Heat Pump Federation underscored the need for low-carbon options to be the most affordable to encourage the shift away from fossil fuels.
He advocated for a balanced funding package so households can contribute to fighting climate change without breaking the bank.
This surge in green energy installations isn’t just a fleeting trend; it’s a vital part of the UK’s roadmap for a cleaner, more sustainable future.
With government support, available grants, and increasing awareness among consumers, the UK is setting a strong example in the global race to combat climate change.