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Welcome to the latest news and updates from the Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, your hub for business insights, events, and developments in the Cumbria region.

We’re in the UK’s 2nd wave of solar

Solar PV systems are becoming an increasingly common sight on both residential and commercial buildings. As businesses and individuals battle volatile energy costs, more and more are turning towards renewable energy as a solution. A movement that Go Low Carbon CEO, Ryan Park has dubbed the UK’s 2nd wave of solar.
We’re in the UK’s 2nd wave of solar

he first boom came between 2010 and 2015, driven by the Government’s Feed in Tariff scheme, whereby homeowners and businesses were paid to install solar PV systems. For many, this financial incentive outweighed concerns relating to system reliability and less than attractive install aesthetics.

When the scheme ended in 2015 demand for solar PV installations plummeted. Without Government support, the uncertainty and stigma surrounding solar PV took over, resulting in a lack of investment on all fronts. This trend of slower uptake remained the case for a few years.

Fast forward to the early 2020s and we’re seeing a refreshed interest in solar PV installations, both domestically and commercially. This is down to a few factors, namely the recent turbulence in the energy sector. Businesses are turning to solar as a defence mechanism against high-energy costs and discovering that the technology is now more reliable and cheaper than it previously had been, with attractive returns on investment. Couple that with the increasing need to prove sustainability credentials for customers, the argument for embracing solar energy is more convincing than ever.

Solar is the currently the fastest growing energy source in history. Implementation and installation is quick and relatively painless and systems can pay themselves off in as little as 2.5 years. Consider the average lifespan of system being 25 years and you could be looking at 22.5 years of financial benefit.

Businesses consuming lots of electricity are rightly stepping forward to protect themselves. Agricultural leaders, manufacturers, engineering firms, leisure & sports centres, etc. are among them. But solar can benefit any business with the available space for an installation (except nocturnal entities… night clubs et. al), even if you deem your energy consumption to be moderate, you could cover your electricity costs and sell the excess back to the National Grid!

Covering of a mere 5% of the UK’s commercial roof space with solar panels would power the entire country – the big question is whether your business will be a part of that defining percentage or whether you’ll choose to wait. By 2050, 90% of the UK will be powered by renewable energy, making the decision to embrace it difficult to deny.

If you’d like to talk over your options for solar energy and other green technologies with an expert, our partner Go Low Carbon can help!


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