For the fourth year running, the UK will celebrate ‘Solar Independence Day’ on the 4th July to acknowledge the achievements of solar PV and inspire further deployment in the future. Organised by the Solar Trade Association (STA), last year the campaign coincided with a record month where solar generation was responsible for almost 24% of the UK’s electricity demand on a particular day.
New Solar Records
Since then, we’ve seen even more records been set by solar including a contribution of over 26% in April (to total UK electricity demand) and an 8.7 GW generation high in May. Earlier in March, solar was a big contributor to the UK daytime demand being lower than the night time for the first time ever. It’s also a revelation to see that solar, as part of the wider low carbon generation mix, is helping phase out coal powered generation much sooner than anticipated.
Around 12 GW of solar is currently installed in the UK although the rate of growth has stalled since the Government reduced their subsidy at the start of 2016. With little support to counter the subsidy cuts, the industry was dealt another blow when the responsibility of solar was passed to a new department (Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) following the abolishment of the Department of Energy and Climate Change during last July’s cabinet reshuffle sparking concerns that the Government no longer had fighting climate change on their agenda.
More reading: Why We Can’t Get Distracted by Politics for Further Low Carbon Growth
Solar Independence Day 2017
That’s why its important to have campaigns like Solar Independence Day; for the industry to stand on its own two feet to raise the awareness and benefits of a solar in the UK to encourage low carbon generation as part of a greener future for the UK. The achievements to date are something to be proud of and with or without Government support, further solar PV deployment is needed.
With new technology innovations such as battery storage also viable to businesses this year to help capture, store and use more of the energy they self-generate from solar, the opportunity for businesses to gain their energy independence is bigger than ever before.
The STA are also hoping that the campaign will encourage businesses that already have solar PV installations to ensure that they have a good operation and maintenance plan in place to ensure the system is operating at its full potential. With many solar companies going out of business in the last 12-18 months, many companies are left without vital repair and maintenance support from their original installer.
If you’re interested in getting involved with Solar Independence Day on the 4th July, social media sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn are the primary channels of communication as businesses and the public post regularly throughout the day. Search or use the hashtag #SolarIndependenceDay when posting any updates.
How Can Solar Work for You?
To get a feel for what’s involved with a solar installation and how it can make a positive impact for a business, view our Lyrceo case study video where we installed the UK’s 4th largest rooftop solar system in 2016! Our full range of case studies can be viewed here.
Visit our Energy Independence page to learn the full range of benefits.