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Report: UK Solar Hotspots Revealed

solar hotspots

Fresh research from Independent Advisor reveals a remarkable surge of over 37% in solar installations across the UK in the past year alone. With over 1.7 million households embracing this technology, the total number of solar panels nationwide has spiked by a third from 2022 to 2023.

Katharine Allison, an energy-saving specialist at Independent Advisor Solar Panels, commented on the findings, stating, “As the UK’s commitment to sustainable living intensifies, solar power emerges as a premier choice for households seeking to reduce their carbon footprint.”

She added, “These insights paint a vivid picture of the solar landscape in the UK, spotlighting the regions and local authorities at the forefront of solar adoption.”

The research evaluates areas based on a “hotspot score,” factoring in the percentage of households equipped with solar panels in 2023-2024, the solar panel capacity as of December 2022, and the average annual sunshine hours.

Regionally, the South West takes the lead with an impressive solar hotspot score of 8.48 out of ten, closely followed by the South East. Conversely, Northern Ireland ranks lowest in the standings, registering a score of just 1.21.

However, despite its lower overall score, Northern Ireland witnessed the third-largest surge in solar panel installations compared to 2018-19.

Solar hubs across local authorities

The analysis also determined the solar hotspot score for each local authority, with Pembrokeshire achieving a notable 9.17 rating. Wales performed impressively across all metrics assessed by Independent Advisor: it boasted the highest percentage of solar PV installations in 2023/24 (1.32%), ranked third in regional solar hotspot scores, and housed the top three areas with the highest percentage of households opting for solar panels in 2023/24, as illustrated below.

solar hubs

Image: Independent Advisor.

In 2023/24, London recorded the smallest percentage (0.25%) of households opting for solar panels. This can be attributed partly to planning constraints, limited space, and a higher prevalence of rented accommodations in the urban environment.

Following closely behind London, Northern Ireland exhibited the second lowest rate of solar panel adoption, standing at just 0.3%. Nonetheless, it experienced a remarkable surge of 226%, outpacing Yorkshire and the Humber.

Stoke-on-Trent witnessed a significant decline in solar panel installations, plummeting by 90% from 4,287 installations in 2018/19 to a mere 428 by 2023/24.

Council solar panel schemes

One possible explanation for this significant decrease could be attributed to the discovery last year that many residents in the city felt they were misled into purchasing panels under the council-led Community Energy Scheme (CES). Independent Advisor also highlighted the proportion of solar PV installations stemming from the Local Authority Delivery (LAD) and Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) schemes, monitoring areas where solar panel installations were the predominant measure implemented by these programs – as outlined below.

solar panel schemes

Image: Independent Advisor.

Allison remarked that certain solar power grants, such as LAD and HUG, aim to incentivize broader adoption of solar energy solutions.

Also Read: Wildlife Found Thriving on Solar Farms

“One such initiative is the ECO4 scheme, which offers complimentary solar panels to eligible households across England, Scotland, and Wales,” Allison explained.

“To take advantage of available schemes, individuals are encouraged to inquire with their local council regarding eligibility.”

Solar Media, the publisher of Solar Power Portal, will host the UK Solar Summit on June 4-5, 2024, in London. The summit will delve into the evolving landscape of utility and rooftop solar in the UK, exploring opportunities within an annual market exceeding gigawatts, among other topics. For additional details, visit the website.


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