The UK solar panel market has gone through a number of well-publicised upheavals over the past two years. Nevertheless, it has grown from 30 megawatts (MW) of installed solar energy capacity in 2010 to just shy of 1.5 gigawatts (GW) today. This was driven by a huge effort on the part of UK industry; long gaps between announcements of reductions in government tariffs and their implementation; and significant falls in solar equipment prices of around 20 per cent per annum.
At the end of 2011, solar energy accounted for just under 1 per cent of the UK’s electricity generation capacity. Earlier this year, the Department for Energy and Climate Change increased targets for solar capacity from 2.7GW by 2020 to 22GW (although this was later lowered to a more likely scenario of12GW).
Solar energy clearly has a role to play in the UK’s energy mix and can contribute strongly towards