2023 has seen a record number of domestic green energy installations in the UK, a recent report has revealed. On average, more than 17,000 households have installed solar panels each month, with 3,000 heat pumps a month also being installed.
On top of this, 2023 has also seen unprecedented numbers for battery technology installations, bringing the total for the year to just over 1,000 installed.
MCS, the industry accreditation body, commented on the boom, stating that households are set to install more renewable energy than the last record year of 2012. During that year, many people raced to install solar panels before government subsidies were reduced.
Ian Rippin, the chief executive of MCS, commented: “As the cost of energy continues to grow, we are seeing more people turn to renewable technology to generate their own energy and heat at home.”
He goes on to add, “We need to continue to push this expansion to meet our shared national ambitions to reach net zero by 2050. More consumers have the confidence to invest in small-scale renewables now than ever, but we have to make that transition even easier.”
With this year’s new installations, small scale renewable energy projects across the UK now have a total capacity of 4GW. This is greater than the nuclear power plant under construction at Hinkley Point, as well as nearly double the capacity of Europe’s largest gas power plants in Wales.
Current targets for the UK are to reach a capacity of 70GW for solar energy by 2035 and to install 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028. However, despite the record numbers for heat pumps for 2023, the uptake has still fallen short of the government’s expectations.
For the first half of 2023, there were 17,920 heat pumps installed, according to the data. If this same pace continued for the rest of the year, then heat pump installations would only reach 6% of the government’s targets.
The accreditation body, MCS, believes the biggest barriers to reaching the government target is the lack of qualified installers. Currently, there are not enough to meet the demands, yet the government have put no measures in place to promote or fund the training required.
The Renewable Energy Institute offers courses on both Heat Pumps and Solar Photovoltaic. Setting the foundational knowledge needed for an installer, both these courses are delivered by industry experts with decades of experience in the field. With the UK government setting ambitious targets, the opportunity for businesses to capitalise on the demand for renewable energy alternatives is clear. Enrol today and secure your place to become a solar energy expert.
When looking at the figures, there are 1,500 heat pump installation companies within the UK. This is much less than the required target, which MCS claims requires at least 50,000 certified workers to be achievable. This year, 850 new contractors have become MCS certified. Whilst this is higher than all of 2022 combined, it is still much less than hoped for.
Bean Beanland, director of external affairs at the Heat Pump Federation, commented on the developments, “It is essential that the lowest-carbon heat becomes the lowest-cost heat, so that homeowners and landlords can justify the transition away from polluting fossil fuels. If this is coupled to a genuine affordability and future funding package, then households will be able to contribute to climate change mitigation with confidence and at a cost that is fair to all.”