You could be forgiven for believing that the UK’s current solar boom is just a fad. Over the years, the industry has had several promising starts – only to fizzle out.
Although photovoltaic (PV) technology dates back to the 1950s, it only became commercially viable during the 1970s. The OPEC crisis was in full effect, and oil prices kept soaring. Countries around the world began investing heavily in solar power – almost out of necessity.
In the United States, President Jimmy Carter even installed solar technology on the White House. But once the oil crisis had passed, gas prices came tumbling down. And interest in solar basically stopped. President Ronald Reagan even removed the solar installation that his predecessor had commissioned.
For the next 20 years, solar remained a fringe technology that only the super wealthy and NASA could afford.
But all of a sudden, solar power is back in the news. You’ve probably already received solicitations from PV installers in your neighbourhood.
Is it time to get excited about solar energy? Or is this just another false start?
This time is definitely different. Solar is the real deal – and it isn’t going away anytime soon. But what makes us so confident?
There are several reasons.
1. Climate Change Is Happening
There will always be sceptics out there – but there really is no debate:
- The planet is getting warmer.
- Weather systems are more erratic.
- Natural disasters are getting worse.
- Species are going extinct.
- Habitats are being destroyed.
And there exists growing international interest in curbing pollution. As the Guardian reports, the survival of our species depends on our leaving as much fossil fuel in the ground as possible.
Solar energy is part of a global movement to phase out dirtier forms of power as we try to restore Earth’s delicate balance.
2. Solar Panel Prices Keep Falling
Improved economies of scale and increased global competition have driven solar panel prices down. In addition, technological innovation has helped boost efficiency rates substantially. So today’s panels generate more power per square meter than they did in the 1970s.
The following graph says it all. It shows what you would have paid for solar PV cells during the OPEC crisis – and what you can expect to pay now.
3. Fossil Fuel Prices Keep Rising
Oil, gas, and coal are finite resources – and we are quickly running out. But as the world’s population increases, global energy consumption goes up.
It’s simple supply and demand.
dwindling reserves + rising consumption = higher fossil fuel prices.
Just take a look at your utility bill over the past several years, and you’ll see what we mean?
When you go solar, however, that electricity statement starts to go down.
What Makes Today’s Solar Boom Different – in the United Kingdom?
The above trends are all happening at the international level. And they are helping to spur global demand for more solar power. So much demand, in fact, that the International Energy Agency predicts solar will become the #1 electricity source on the planet by 2050.
But in the UK, we benefit from 2 additional factors that are helping to accelerate solar adoption.
1. New Solar Financing Vehicles
Solar panel prices keep falling. So the technology is more affordable than ever before. But thanks to new financing vehicles, it’s possible to receive a new installation for free. Solar leases carry zero upfront costs. You only pay for the clean electricity that your “rented” PV panels generate.
30 years ago, these types of financing arrangements didn’t exist. Today, solar leasing continues to help thousands of homeowners save money and protect the planet – for free.
2. Solar Power Incentives
In the United Kingdom, our government has thrown its full weight behind the country’s solar revolution. With the introduction of the feed-in tariff, you’re able to monetize the sunshine that hits your roof.
This is a huge deal.
In most countries, going solar simply allows you to reduce your electricity bill. But in the UK, installing solar PV panels creates a passive income stream for you and your family. You’re not simply saving money – you’re receiving money for the clean electricity you produce.
Programs like this explain why more than 500,000 UK homeowners have installed PV panels on their properties. With numbers like that, solar clearly isn’t a fad. The technology is here to stay.
However, the feed-in tariff is designed to be degressive (reduce with time) and its days are numbered:
- Those who go solar today enjoy the most benefits and highest payouts.
- Those who delay receive much lower returns from their investments.
Ultimately, the decision is yours. But if you want lower utility bills, more income, and a smaller carbon footprint, we can help you get started. Request a free solar quote today.