UK – Solar Energy Roadmap Launched

Photo credit: DECC.
By Anders Lorenzen

UK Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker, launched a roadmap for solar energy in the UK on Tuesday. He underlined solar energy as a key renewable energy policy that will help the UK to both meet its legally binding climate targets of 80% reductions in carbon emissions by 2050, and its renewable target of 15% of renewables in the energy sector by 2020.

The UK’s solar industry has grown 25 fold since 2010, and a solar capacity of nearly 2.5 gigawatts (GW) has been installed, which amounts to solar installations on half a million rooftops, the Climate Change Minister said. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) estimates that the UK can reach 10GW by 2020, but Greg Barker believes even more can be achieved. Along with industry estimates he believes that 20GW is achievable within a decade.

The new Solar PV Energy Roadmap will set out how the Government will work with business and industry to build on this unprecedented growth. Four key principles are at the core of the roadmap:

  1. Support for solar PV should allow cost-effective projects to go ahead and to make a cost-effective approach to UK carbon emissions efforts. Ensuring solar PV has a role to play alongside other low carbon technologies.

  1. Support for solar PV should deliver genuinely carbon reductions that would help the UK meet its renewable energy target of 15% by 2020 for all consumption, while supporting decarbonisation in the longer term.

  1. Support for solar PV should ensure proposals are appropriately sited and give space for environmental considerations such as landscape and visual impact.

  1. Finally support for solar PV should respond and access to deployment, making sure the grid can handle large capacity of solar deployment.

Commenting on the roadmap Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said that the Government wants to provide a new capacity of low cost energy:
“The Coalition is committed to delivering the clean and reliable energy supplies that the country needs, at the lowest possible cost to consumers’’.
And he added solar PV can do just that:
“Solar PV can play a central role in meeting this challenge. It’s a genuinely exciting energy technology which has already seen rapid growth and enjoys strong public support. I want this growth to continue and to help us push further ahead in the global race”

DECC also highlighted that solar energy is the renewable energy technology most favored by the public with a 85% acceptance.

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