Solar PV is key renewable technology, say MPs

2nd January 2013

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Generation ,
  • Renewable ,
  • Procurement



Recent falls in the cost of photovoltaic (PV) technologies mean that the government now sees solar power as playing an important role in meeting the UK's renewable energy targets

The government has amended its renewable energy roadmap to include solar PV alongside bioenergy, wind and marine power, as a “key technology” in ensuring the UK meets its 2020 target for 15% of energy to come from renewable sources.

With the costs of some PV installations halving between summer 2011 and March 2012, the technology now has the “potential to form a significant part of our renewable energy generation mix”, according to the updated DECC document, which covers renewables policy from Whitehall and the devolved administrations.

In the update, DECC confirms that the UK remains on track to meet its 2020 target with 11% of all electricity now coming from renewable sources. In the 12 months to July 2012, renewable electricity generation increased 27%, with offshore wind capacity increasing 60% year-on-year and solar PV capacity leaping 466% to 1.4GW.

DECC predicts that by 2020 solar PV could provide between 7–20GW of electricity, and with falling costs, easy installation and high levels of public support, the technology could play an important role in connecting communities and businesses with renewable energy and the transition to the low-carbon economy.

While predicting that the greatest growth in solar PV generation will remain small-scale installations (less than 50kW), the roadmap states that larger arrays are increasingly financially viable. The energy department says it will publish a solar PV strategy later in the year with the aim of further boosting industry and investor confidence.

“It’s a fantastic achievement that more than 10% of our power now comes from renewables, given the point from which we started,” said energy secretary Ed Davey.

“Getting new infrastructure investment into the economy is crucial to driving growth and supporting jobs across the country. I am determined that we get ahead in the global race on renewables.”

In its update, DECC confirms that it has completed 72 of the 110 actions outlined in the original roadmap, which was published in July 2011, and outlines how it is making progress on its outstanding plans, including allocating funds for innovation, helping the sectors to reduce costs and working to ensure financial stability (through subsidies and contracts for difference).

Alongside the government’s promised strategy on solar PV, 2013 will see the implementation of new subsidy levels under the Renewables Obligation and the addition of new technologies eligible for support under the Renewable Heat Incentive.

Transform articles

National climate plans could see fossil fuel demand peak by 2025

Demand for fossil fuels will peak by 2025 if all national net-zero pledges are implemented in full and on time, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has forecast.

15th October 2021

Read more

The Green Homes Grant is set to deliver only a fraction of the jobs and improvements intended, leading to calls for more involvement from local authorities in future schemes.

23rd September 2021

Read more

COVID-19 recovery packages have largely focused on protecting, rather than transforming, existing industries, and have been a “lost opportunity” for speeding up the global energy transition.

23rd September 2021

Read more

Half of the world's 40 largest listed oil and gas companies will have to slash their production by at least 50% by the 2030s to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement, new analysis has found.

9th September 2021

Read more

None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.

30th July 2021

Read more

The UK’s pipeline for renewable energy projects could mitigate 90% of job losses caused by COVID-19 and help deliver the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. That is according to a recent report from consultancy EY-Parthenon, which outlines how the UK’s £108bn “visible pipeline” of investible renewable energy projects could create 625,000 jobs.

30th July 2021

Read more

Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.

30th July 2021

Read more

The oil and gas industry is set to burn through its allocated carbon budget 13 years early unless decisive action is taken immediately, new analysis has found.

22nd July 2021

Read more

The UK will no longer use unabated coal to generate electricity from October 2024, one year earlier than originally planned, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has announced.

2nd July 2021

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert