In recent decades, the UK has seen a remarkable increase in generating electricity from renewable sources, jumping from about 26 terawatt hours in 2010 to roughly 135 terawatt hours in 2022. A real highlight came in the summer of 2019 when the UK made history as the first major global economy to pass a law aiming for carbon neutrality.
A spokesperson for HomeSun commented: “Public awareness about environmental issues is at an all time high. There is growing support for renewable energy as a means to combat climate change.”
This commitment means striving for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a significant move toward a cleaner and more sustainable future. This article takes a look at when and how renewable energies entered the UK energy market and why solar photovoltaic panels are homeowner’s first choice.
When Did The UK Start Using Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy sources were alive in times that we now can not even comprehend, with waterwheels being used more than 2000 years ago in Europe. However, in more modern times, renewable energy really started to enter the UK energy market around the 1990’s, with the UK’s first wind farm completed in Cornwall.
How Wind Energy Has Taken the UK By Storm
Wind Energy is the biggest renewable energy source in the UK. In the initial quarter of 2023, wind power supplied nearly a third (32.4%) of Britain’s electricity, surpassing gas, which contributed 31.7%. This marks the first occasion in the history of the country’s electricity grid that wind has claimed the largest share of power in any quarter.
What is the Most Common Residental Renewable Energy?
Exploring ways for UK residents to transition to environmentally friendly energy solutions, the favoured choice among green energy sources is photovoltaic solar panels. While wind stands out as the most potent energy source in the UK, solar energy provides homeowners with a viable cost-effective, and unobtrusive means to generate their own power.
The year 2023 witnessed the most substantial surge in solar panel installations across the UK.
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How Photovoltaic Solar Panels Benefit Residential Properties
Enhancing the reliability of the electric grid, photovoltaic solar panels enable homeowners to save money and enhance the value of their homes. Below, we outline the five primary ways in which residential solar brings advantages to homeowners.
1. Become More Energy Efficient
Embracing solar self-consumption diminishes reliance on fossil fuels, offering particular advantages to residents in areas prone to frequent power outages or those situated in remote locations with restricted electricity access.
Moreover, solar energy can be efficiently stored in a solar battery or sold back to the grid. Storing excess energy allows for optimised consumption and ensures a consistent supply of solar power during periods of limited sunlight.
As the HomeSun spokesperson explains with regards to becoming carbon neutral: “The mantra is: avoid, reduce, offset, i.e. avoid your emissions as much as you can (take a train rather than your petrol car with just you in it.) What you can’t avoid completely, reduce (insulation to avoid carbon emissions from your home); and offset any remaining emissions i.e. pay for a certified carbon reduction elsewhere to balance your carbon emissions.”
2. Reduced Energy Bills
The primary advantage of solar panels is clear-cut. By installing solar panels on your property, you generate your own electricity, decrease dependence on your electric utility, and trim down your monthly electricity expenses. With a typical lifespan of 25 to 35 years, a solar panel system enables long-term reductions in electricity costs, offering decades of financial savings through solar energy.
3. Environmentally Friendly Energy Solution
Solar energy represents a sustainable and renewable source, ensuring that its availability is never depleted. This form of energy is environmentally friendly, producing no carbon emissions or heat-trapping “greenhouse” gases. Unlike the environmental impact associated with mining or drilling for fossil fuels, solar energy avoids such detrimental consequences.
4. Increased Home Value With Solar Panels
Houses equipped with solar panels may experience a boost in their market value. Potential homebuyers are inclined to pay a premium for a residence with installed solar panels. When weighing the pros and cons of solar energy, the savings on electricity bills and potential earnings from selling excess power back to the utility are compelling factors. Residential solar energy systems are highly esteemed and have the potential to elevate a home’s resale value.
5. Minimal Water Consumption
Solar energy stands out as the energy source with the least adverse impact on the environment. It neither emits greenhouse gases nor contaminates water. Moreover, its maintenance demands very little water, in stark contrast to facilities like nuclear power plants, which require 20 times more water. Another noteworthy advantage is the absence of noise during solar energy production, a significant benefit given that many solar installations are situated in urban areas, including residential solar panels.
Are Fossil Fuels or Renewable Energy More Significant in The UK?
A pivotal moment arrived in 2019, signifying a shift. After an extended dependence on coal for energy, a historic milestone occurred, witnessing more energy being generated from zero-carbon sources than from fossil fuels, both in the UK and the US. By embracing renewables to fuel our energy needs, we are making significant strides toward achieving the 2050 UK target of net-zero total emissions.