Mandatory Solar For New Homes Could Provide Big Energy Surplus

Last updated: June 12, 2024

Analysis from renewable energy company Good Energy suggests that mandating solar panels for 1.5 million new homes could produce a huge energy surplus. This additional energy may then power a further 1.17 million properties nationwide.

Good Energy’s analysis was undertaken by studying data from 900+ solar customers throughout the UK.

This analysis also found that with a solar system setup upon moving in, homeowners could save approximately £600 a year.

The UK Is Lagging Behind On Solar

Currently, 1.3 million households in the UK have solar arrays installed. This equates to approximately 4.3% of homes.

The UK trails behind nations such as the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Denmark regarding solar capacity per person. For example, the Netherlands has a solar capacity of nearly 1,400 watts per person whereas the UK has achieved just 236 watts per capita.

When lined up alongside the 27 members of the EU, the UK finds itself towards the bottom of this list with a similar solar capacity to France and Czechia.

The UK will need to increase its solar output to help meet its long-term climate goals. Mandatory solar arrays for new-builds could prove a substantial stride toward achieving such targets.

Good Energy’s Plan In Action

If Good Energy’s proposal was put into action, the percentage of UK households with either a solar panel setup or benefiting from a solar array surplus would rise to about 9.4%. This calculation factors in the addition of 1.5 million new-build properties, per Good Energy’s proposal.1

The UK’s solar capacity might also rise from around 15.8 gigawatts to 20.3 gigawatts. At this level (assuming no other changes), the UK would see its figure of 236 solar watts per person reach 283 watts per person if going about five years into the future.2

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However, the likelihood is that this figure would surpass 300 watts per person and potentially go significantly beyond due to the rise of solar farms nationwide. That’s not to mention the potential for more existing homes to adopt solar technology in the years ahead.

Looking Toward The Future

One way or another, the UK will need to greatly expand its solar installations or/and solar farms to get close to the sorts of solar capacity per capita figures achieved by the likes of Germany and the Netherlands.

Reaching milestones in this region is not without its complications, however. One hurdle is cases of public opposition to solar farms as has been seen with the divisive Sunnica solar farm proposal.

With a new government due to form later this summer, time will tell whether or not they will dive in further to supporting renewables including solar. Though cases like the aforementioned Sunnica solar farm highlight the need to balance green energy development with local concerns.

Either way, Good Energy’s ambitious proposal lays the foundations on paper needed to build a greener Britain. All in all, such a plan could help the UK work toward key climate goals in the years and decades ahead.

Footnotes

  1. These calculations are based on projections using existing relevant data as touched on throughout this blog. ↩︎
  2. Likewise, these calculations involved using existing data to make limited predictions of the future. ↩︎