Figures released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) show that 500,000 solar photovoltaic panels have now been installed in the UK under the feed-in-tariff (FIT) scheme, marking a major milestone for the industry.
Although some way from its target of one million solar installs by 2015, the news brings promise that this could now be achievable and that homeowners are indeed backing renewables in a bid to reduce soaring energy prices.
The DECC has also revealed that the 500,000 solar photovoltaic panel installations have provided more than 1.8GW of capacity to the grid.
This latest announcement is welcome news for an industry that suffered greatly back in 2012 when the government slashed tariff rates, which led to a damaging decline in installation rates.
A spokesperson from the Solar Trade Association explained: “A quiet solar revolution has been taking place led by half a million everyday households. Polls show over and over that the public back renewables and they have indeed put their hands in their pockets to prove it.”
Greg Barker, climate change minister, also had positive predications for the industry stating that the UK will pass the 3GW of capacity milestone in the coming months when utility scale solar projects are taken into account: “That is more than any other country in Europe and puts us right up there in the growth sectors of anywhere in the world, it’s a staggering achievement.”
The FIT scheme was launched to promote the uptake of small-scale renewables and low carbon electricity generation in the UK. Under the FIT scheme, homeowners receive subsidies for the electricity they generate, even if they use it themselves, and for any surplus electricity exported back to the grid. Money will also be saved on electricity bills because people will be using their own electricity.
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