The UK is not exactly known for its sunny weather. Nevertheless, solar PV installations provide a small but growing share of the UK’s electricity needs. The map above shows the theoretical energy potential of the UK’s various regions.
Obviously, the further south you are in the UK, the greater the potential. Cities such as Brighton or Bournemouth could in theory generate 1100 kWh per square meter. Whereas towns and villages in the Scottish Highlands, can at best produce only around 70% as much electricity.
However, putting this in some perspective, there are regions in the South United States, Australia and Africa that can in theory produce more than twice as much as the sunniest parts of the UK.
A few other UK solar energy facts:
- As of April 2016, overall UK solar PV capacity stood at 9,790 MW across 877,267 installations.
- This was an increase of 21% compared to April 2015.
- 51% of total power generated by solar in the UK comes from large scale commercial installations greater than 5 MW. With 25% coming from home installations which range between 0-4 MW.
- In 2015, solar PV accounted for 9.1% of all renewable generation.
- This in turn means that only 2% of the UK’s total electricity generation comes from solar.
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