The recent heatwave has done more than just lift the country’s spirits, it has also helped the UK to break numerous solar power-generation records, the Guardian reports.
Renewables main source of power in UK in July
The installation of new solar power has somewhat flatlined over the last 12 months but the prolonged period of cloudless days has enabled the sector to hit a series of power generation highs. In fact, the renewable energy source briefly overtook gas power stations as the country’s main source of electricity on the first weekend of July.
Between 21 and 28 June, solar produced 533 gigawatt hours of power, breaking the record for weekly output. But that wasn’t the only record it broke as it also generated over 75GWh on five of the seven days and hit over 8GW for eight consecutive days for the first time.
While gas and nuclear have generated a lot more power since then, these milestones show just how far the renewable technology has progressed. As the newspaper notes, solar’s contribution to UK electricity supplies was almost nothing a decade ago.
Trend for renewables to continue with technological advances
Director of system operations at the National Grid, Duncan Burt, said: “During the past 12 months alone, we have seen renewable generation records broken and we expect this trend to continue, as technology advances and we find new ways to accommodate and manage more wind and solar power on our network.”
Solar has, as of yet, only become the primary electricity source at weekends, when demand is generally lower, but it is still encouraging to see. Across the UK, solar panels on rooftops and in fields were the number one source for around an hour on the afternoon of Saturday 30 June.
The record for peak solar generation was set on 14 May this year, reaching 9.42GW. In total, May rose 1.6% on the previous year, with a total of 12.8GW of solar capacity.
This marks the start of subsidy-free solar
Commenting on the findings, solar expert at the University of Sheffield, Dr Alastair Buckley, said: “This marks the start of subsidy-free solar being economically viable, and I genuinely believe we’ll see bigger changes to the electricity sector in the next 10 years than we’ve seen in the past 10.”
Solar power is a fundamental part of the UK’s energy mix and is rapidly becoming a more significant component within many, forward looking UK businesses electricity strategies. To find out more about solar options for your business please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give one of our friendly team a call on 01202 862760.