UK solar levels reach record high

On Friday 26th May 2017, the UK record level of solar generation was beaten as generation crept up to as high as 8.7GW at midday. The previous record high was noted only weeks before on 10th May at 8.48GW. This news shows how the UK has benefitted from its recent transition into the renewable sphere through funding into the Feed in Tariff, Renewable Obligation and Contracts for Difference schemes.

A huge amount of solar has been implemented across the UK over the last few years through various schemes, and this trend is set to continue. National Grid published in their Summer Outlook:

Embedded solar PV capacity has increased from 9.3 GW in February 2016, to 11.7 GW in February 2017. We expect this upwards trend to continue, with an additional 150 MW of capacity expected each month for the next 12 months. This equates to 13.5 GW of installed capacity by the end of February 2018.
— National Grid Summer Outlook

However, other institutions have expressed concerns over the future of renewables in the UK, especially as we approach the general election due to take place in June. Greenpeace highlighted the fact that if the Government had not made cuts to the implementation of solar and other renewable projects, the record high levels of solar generation seen over the months of May could have been potentially much higher. Furthermore major solar company Solarcentury have expressed doubts that the UK solar market has much of a future.

The upcoming general election should provide some insight into the future of renewable/low-carbon/green sources of electricity. So far the Green Party have pledged to move completely away from fossil fuels, and towards a green future for electricity generation. The Conservative Party have issued a manifesto linked strongly to nuclear power for future generation, while the Labour Party manifesto seems to encourage mix of renewables and nuclear.





Sources: Smartestenergy, the Guardian, Energy Live News, National Grid Summer Outlook.