Scotland powers ahead as homeowners rush to fit solar panels

Solar panels on the roofs of UK houses are generating more than £20 billion-worth of electricity for homeowners, with Scotland leading the charge, new figures show.

The installed capacity of solar panels on homes equates to some three gigawatts of electricity for the UK grid - the first time that figure has been achieved.

The statistics have been published by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) - the national standards body for renewable energy technology and installation.

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It noted that the generation figure is around the same amount as the Sizewell C nuclear power plant (3.2GW). The MCS installation database predicts that solar electricity panels will surpass the Suffolk reactor’s output figure by spring this year.

Scotland saw about a quarter of all solar panel installations last year, according to the latest statistics.Scotland saw about a quarter of all solar panel installations last year, according to the latest statistics.
Scotland saw about a quarter of all solar panel installations last year, according to the latest statistics.

The data also shows that, in 2021, 61,455 UK properties had solar panels installed - a surge of 71 per cent on the previous year. This takes the total number of residential properties with panels to about one million, according to Solar Energy UK. Scotland saw a quarter of all installations last year.

Ian Rippin, chief executive of MCS, said: “The rate at which domestic solar PV systems are being installed is hugely positive and shows continued confidence in home-grown energy.

“Even better, as well as saving you money on your energy bills, solar panels can also earn you cash - by pumping back the electricity you generate but don’t use yourself into the national energy grid.

“Consumers are increasingly keen to invest in low-carbon technology for the home because installation costs are falling as energy prices soar. This means generating solar power and using it yourself gives a far bigger saving now than before.

“Behavioural changes brought about during the pandemic also continue to influence the purchasing decision, as does the value it adds to the property,” he added.

“We all should feel empowered to find the right renewable energy technology to power our homes, particularly given the long-term economic and environmental benefits.”

Kevin McCann, policy manager at Solar Energy UK, said: “The MCS-accredited solar market is flying, with more than 61,000 installations in 2021. This shouldn’t be a surprise: solar is a proven way to cut costs and lower carbon emissions.”

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