Solar panels

Solar Taskforce to explore increase in solar installations

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has announced that a new Solar Taskforce has met to explore how more solar installations can be introduced around the country, including at places such as schools, warehouses, and car parks.

More than one million homes in the United Kingdom have solar panels installed on their roofs, with this helping to provide reliable energy for households around the country. This can also significantly reduce consumer bills and support the creation of thousands of high-skilled jobs, which has led the new Solar Taskforce to highlight the potential of newer buildings in increasing solar provision. The possibility of floating solar has also been considered.

As part of the Powering Up Britain commitment, the government pledged to establish the Taskforce in order to drive further growth in solar power and accepting the recommendations that were made in Chris Skidmore’s Independent Review of Net Zero. This saw Skidmore identify the ways that the UK could meet its net zero commitments in a way that is both affordable and efficient.

Graham Stuart, Minister for Energy Security and Net Zero, said:

“Households across the UK are already doing their bit to provide cleaner, cheaper and more secure energy sources with the solar panels on their roofs – but with acres of rooftop space on car parks and supermarkets in every community, we can be doing even more.

“This dedicated Solar Taskforce will have a laser-like focus on cutting the costs and breaking down the barriers to harnessing the power of the sun in every way we can, all while using a small fraction of this country’s land.

Doing so will make a significant contribution to boosting our energy security, cutting people’s bills and providing long-term jobs.”

Ways of driving increased rooftop solar installation was one of the discussions at the first meeting of the Taskforce, with ideas with cost reductions for households and businesses being one such incentive. This would not only allow more people to reap the benefits of solar power but would also add to the number solar panels around the country, with the Taskforce united in the thinking that the solar and farming sectors can support each other as they look to meet energy and food security goals.

Also discussed at the meeting were plans to:

  • Publish a solar roadmap in 2024 to drive forward the actions needed to deliver the UK’s ambition to increase solar capacity by nearly fivefold by 2035
  • Upskill and expand the solar workforce to meet increasing levels of demand, while creating well-paid long-term employment opportunities for Britain
  • Identify opportunities to secure resilient supply chains and innovation within the global market, helping to generate opportunities for UK businesses to export their expertise around the world.

Chief Executive of Solar Energy UK and Co-chair of the Taskforce, Chris Hewett, said:

“Installing rooftop solar power, whether at residential or commercial scale, is one of the best investments available, offering dramatic savings on energy bills and the opportunity to be paid for sending excess power to the grid. The benefits can also be greatly enhanced by adding a battery storage system.

“Solar is the most popular form of power generation amongst the British public and consumer demand has never been higher, though the rate of rooftop installation must double to help hit 70GW by 2035. The number of solar farms will also have to increase significantly. I am delighted we now have industry leaders working directly with the government to resolve the stumbling blocks and maximise the benefits that solar energy offers to the nation.”


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