In the first of a six series Solar Roadshow, climate change minister Greg Barker said that the UK was approaching the threshold of 2GW for nationwide solar energy generation.
Mr Barker acknowledged that in recent times, the UK solar industry has gone through some difficult times, but has come a massive distance in the last two years.
He added that measures such as Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) and the feed in tariff has given the industry a sense of transparency in order to push forward future take up of the technology.
“Last month we reached a huge milestone. Solar is now, for the first time, a priority industry in the Government’s Renewables Roadmap. It is recognised as having a future as one of the key renewable technologies in the UK’s energy mix,” Mr Barker said.
In the speech, the climate change minister said that 1,549 solar installations took place in the week prior to his appearance at the roadshow. The total installations across the country now number 400,000. With these figures presenting huge positives for the growth of the industry, it is predicted that up to 20GW of electricity could be produced by renewable generation by the 2020s.
The solar industry, in addition to a number of different renewable energy sectors, will also benefit from the government’s new Energy Bill. Mr Barker said that £110 billion of investment can be attracted from the bill, in order to provide replacements for the UK’s current generating capacity. It is hoped that be 202, the transmission and distribution grid will be upgraded.
This solar roadshow is the latest in a number of recent announcements and speeches from the government on the subject of solar power and renewable power generation.
In addition to the recent introduction of the Energy Bill, the Green Deal and Eco, the prime minster has also reiterated his stance on making the UK a global leader in the production of renewable energy to compete on a global market.