Should solar power play a bigger role in the UK power market?

Should solar power play a bigger role in the UK power market? Posted on 19th Oct 2016 by Ged Ennis

At Low Carbon Energy, we believe that solar has a bright future. Not only is solar affordable; it’s well suited to all businesses and domestic needs. New research also supports the viability of solar, showing that its already impressive offerings can be boosted too. The research reveals that solar power could play a much bigger role than it currently does in the UK – and we’d have to say that we agree.

Low-cost, high-power solar

energy consumption

Analysis by Aurora Energy Research has revealed that the UK could treble the amount of solar power on a system without pushing up costs. This is much-welcomed research considering the concerns about intermittency issues of solar power. While solar panels only generate electricity when the sun is shining, “back-up” can be provided to ensure the lights stay on – offering a resolution to any variability issues. Best of all, this “back-up” solution will add just £1.30 per megawatt hour to existing power costs.

Aurora Energy Research applied their findings to a system of 11GW and found that it could provide 40 GW using this method. In turn, this would provide 10% of the UK’s power, helping us to move towards our renewable energy goals.

A boost with battery storage

solar panels in the sun

Researchers behind the study considered a variety of options and suggested the cheapest option would combine solar and batteries. As we all know, battery storage offers another solution against blackouts and helps to remedy any intermittence of solar panels. Solar panels and large-scale battery storage can work together to create a smart solution. Batteries store excess power generated from sunshine, when in its peak in the day, and in return offer “free” electricity at night. In fact, statistics show that this combination could result in a net benefit of £3.70/MWh.

This research supports the viability of solar in our future. Solar power can be affordable and is likely to be one of the lowest-cost ways of creating electricity in the future. Of course, it ticks the box of clean energy – offering low carbon and low cost power.

Dr Benjamin Irons, author of the report added:

“Our analysis shows that such integration is possible and surprisingly affordable: the UK could more than triple the amount of solar power on the system by 2030, with associated costs of integration and backup so low as to be dwarfed by the enormous cost savings anticipated from falling solar prices over the same period.”

You can browse our range of Solar PV solutions online. Whether you’re a homeowner, farmer, or you work in the public sector, we’ve got the perfect solution for you. We offer Battery Storage too – for those looking for the complete solution. As always, you can contact us to find out more.

If you’re the proud owner of a solar power system, why not find out about our maintenance packages? Helping you get the most out of your solar panels, our maintenance packages include both planned and responsive services as well as repair and cleaning. View our Solar Panel Maintenance page to find out more.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you think we can do more to secure a clean energy future? Join the conversation on Twitter @LowCarbonEnCo

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