2021: a solar success story

2021 was a significant year for the UK solar industry, with each of the three market segments – residential rooftop, commercial scale and ground-mount – seeing huge growth.

Figures from Solar Energy UK show the strength of the rooftop sector, with 369MW of onsite solar installed in 2021 – the highest total in six years, since 2015, when 869MW of capacity was built. Although this number is higher, there were significant subsidies available at the time, while new growth in the rooftop sector is fully subsidy-free.

In total, there is now more than 5GW of residential, commercial and industrial rooftop solar capacity installed in the UK. The trade association has pointed to high gas prices that have helped stimulate the rooftop market, with commercial energy buyers installing onsite solar to protect themselves against the volatility of buying electricity based on fossil fuels.

Solar Energy UK chief executive Chris Hewett said: “2021 was the year the UK’s solar industry came of age. We are now seeing stable, sustained growth across the sector, with order books overflowing. As fossil fuel energy bills soar, rooftop solar in particular is now very popular. More and more consumers and businesses are investing in solar because they know it is a proven way to cut their energy bills and carbon emissions. It is also now a cheap way to charge EVs and decarbonise heating.”

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