UK predicts 4pc of its electricity will be solar within a decade

25 Mar 2015

The UK government has claimed that 4pc of the country’s electricity could be provided by solar methods by the end of the decade.

As reported by the BBC, Britain’s energy secretary Ed Davey has pointed to the reduction of the cost of solar panels as leading to a revision of the government’s forecast for solar energy use. “This is wonderful for humanity”, he asserted.

However, these falling prices – which has been as much as 70pc as subsidies in many nations caused a mass market and drew in Chinese manufacturers – have prompted a state withdrawal of subsidies from large-scale solar farms, something the Solar Trades Association has called ‘an own goal’.

“We need subsidies for another few years – maybe five – before we can compete with fossil fuels in the UK,” said the association’s spokesperson, Leonie Greene.

“Only 35pc of the cost of solar is the price of the panels – the majority cost is the installation and that will only come down if we have a large and thriving competitive industry in the UK.

“The government’s decision to pull out subsidies is an own goal – it will delay the moment when solar can compete with fossil fuels.”

But Davey disputes these claims, saying recent energy contracts among different types of renewable energy companies proves solar can ready compete.

According to a report released last year by International Energy Agency (IEA). the collapsing price of solar panels could lead to solar energy being the dominant energy source for the world by 2050.

The report claimed that because solar panels are becoming less expensive – and because they are more available to people in their homes – 16pc of the world’s electricity could be sourced from the sun by the mid-point of this century.

Solar panels image via Shutterstock

Dean Van Nguyen was a contributor to Silicon Republic