Lighting the Way, a new report from trade group Solar Energy UK suggests that while the UK solar industry could feasibly grow twofold by 2030, if it is to align with net zero targets it realistically needs to treble in size over the next eight years.
In a nutshell, the report says that a target of 40GW of solar capacity by 2030 is needed in order to hit net zero. This isn’t a random figure – it was estimated by the Climate Change Committee, a Government advisory body.
The South West is considered the best location overall for renewable resources of solar and wind, with Cornwall, Devon and Somerset ranked in the top five solar producing counties. Our region generally has had a positive attitude towards the sector, and we believe we have seen a shift in attitude in the past few years with councils and businesses now less focused on the appeal of solar energy for financial gains and more interested in the environment and the need to make change.
While solar farms will be needed to achieve the target, there have been recent concerns about their impact on the countryside. SunGift Solar continues to be committed to making sure that the majority of our installations are sited in exactly the places where energy requirements are needed, such as warehouses, offices and large-scale holiday parks.
There’s potential good news for the economy as the new report argues that achieving 40GW of solar capacity could have a dynamic impact on the UK economy, delivering 13,000 new jobs, £17 billion in additional economic activity and a 4.7% cut in total UK carbon emissions.
The report also considers the impact of improved building standards for homes and commercial properties, funding of retrofitted solar on homes and public buildings.
Solar Energy UK Chief Executive Chris Hewett said: “Solar companies up and down the country are in a strong position to deliver the growth needed to meet the UK’s climate commitments. However, the Government must act now to accelerate deployment to ensure their net zero targets are met. Jobs, economic growth, and a massive reduction in carbon emissions are all up for grabs.
Solar is affordable, reliable, and immensely popular with the public. Every additional unit of solar energy generated in the UK cuts the amount of coal and gas we burn today. It can and must play a bigger role in the UK’s green economic recovery.”
If you’re interested in reading the full report, it can be accessed here.