It is becoming increasingly clear to see that the use of solar energy is increasing in popularity. In 2021, the use of clean and renewable energy around the world grew by 9.1% according to the Renewable Energy Statistics 2022 by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). In 2022, the Renewable Energy Statistics 2023, also by IRENA, showed that this percentage had increased further, as the use of renewable energy around the world grew by 9.6%.
According to MCS data, around 1.3 million homes in the UK are already taking advantage of the benefits of solar energy, mostly through the installation of solar panel systems. One of the biggest reasons why renewable energy use is increasing, is due to the fact that the technology needed is becoming both more accessible and affordable. Especially, solar energy technology, such as solar panels, solar thermal systems, and solar batteries. In 2021, the cost of harnessing solar energy through solar panels had decreased by 13%, and the price of crystalline solar panel systems had decreased by around 90% since 2009.
IRENA have also reported that over 60% of newly installed renewable power systems, including solar energy systems, ran much more cheaply than the cheapest fossil fuel option. As fossil fuels become more expensive and renewable energy systems become cheaper, it is clear to see that going renewable is the more viable option. The average home will also see a drop in their energy bills, which could fall between 64% to 90%, due to a solar panel system.
Other studies, carried out by Oxford University have predicted that if the world transitions to renewable energy sources, it could save around £12 trillion. Researcher and lecturer, Professor Doyne Farmer has stated that:
“There is a pervasive misconception that
switching to clean, green energy will be painful,
costly, and mean sacrifices for us all – but that’s just wrong.”
Will Solar Energy get cheaper?
Solar energy has the potential to get even cheaper. Currently, the price of fossil fuels is high, and renewable energy is cheap, this is because we do not have to extract materials to operate a renewable energy system, this is done through free and abundant renewable sources, including water, wind, or the sun.
Solar energy has the potential to get even cheaper.
Manufacturers are realising that renewable energy is the way forward, and companies are competing with one another to create the cheapest and most efficient models that will appeal to their current and future customer base.
By 2030, the UK has pledged to increase the amount of energy it uses, that has been generated from a low-carbon source. This increase must reach 95% for the government to reach its target. Therefore, there is the potential that the UK Government will encourage the increase in affordability and accessibility of solar energy systems.
To encourage the installation of solar energy systems, the UK Government introduced the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme that allows those generating more electricity than they use, to feed the surplus electricity back into the electrical grid in exchange for payment, that will further lower their electricity bills.
To benefit further owners of a solar panel system can introduce a solar diverter in order to divert the energy generated on site to produce heat as well as electricity. This means water can be heated for showering, bathing, and within radiator systems using a clean and renewable energy source.
Solar batteries can also be added to existing or new solar energy systems to store any excess energy generated. This can help to lower your energy bills further as you become less reliant on the electrical grid.