There is much talk around an impending energy crisis in the UK with power station closures and alternative energy sources replacing them at too slow a rate, and it is interesting to see that the role that solar will play in bridging the gap is becoming increasingly important.

Predictions are that Europe will build 80% more capacity over the next 25 years, and small scale solar will account for over a third of that installed capacity. We now find ourselves in a world where solar has become a ‘mainstream’ energy source and is expected to exceed fossil fuels in capacity by 2031, which, along with nuclear will decline by 30% by 2040.

Doubtless we are ever watchful for governmental direction in terms of defining the required energy mix to ensure security of future supply, but regardless of the degree of focus on a variety of technologies, all the evidence suggests that solar will continue to gather momentum. Last year, 19.2% of energy generated in the UK was of renewable origin with solar and wind at the forefront.

There is also a growing trend from centralised generation to decentralised, and an increasing desire for businesses and individuals to gain control over their energy production and usage. Renewable energy provides a secure and cost-effective fuel supply, and with an array of monitoring and measurement tools now available, allows better energy management and understanding of usage. The advent of energy storage will take solar to yet another level, giving greater flexibility and allowing users to use a far greater proportion of the free energy generated at their own particular peak demand times, regardless of the time of day or weather conditions.

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