UK solar power breaks record, generates more energy than nuclear for first time

Solar energy panels in the UK generated a record amount of energy on Friday, May 26, with output rising to 8.75GW of power, meeting almost 25 percent of  British energy demand.

Solar was the second most used generating technology, outputting more energy than nuclear for the first time in British history, second only to gas, topping a previous record of 8.49 GW.

solar panels

Solar Trade Association CEO Paul Barwell said in a statement: “With the UK bathed in glorious sunshine today, we at the STA had forecasted that solar would break the previous record for output on a weekday.

“We were delighted that at around midday today 8.75GW was generated by solar, supplying nearly 25% of the UK’s total demand.”

He added:

“Currently, 12.1GW of solar has been installed throughout the UK from Scotland to Cornwall, enough to power 3.8 million homes.

“This is a colossal achievement in just 5 years, and sends a very positive message to the UK that solar has a strong place in the decarbonisation of the UK energy sector.”

Government subsidies helped Britain’s solar energy sector boom by more than expected over the past decade. Although the government ended its renewables obligation for large-scale (>5 Megawatts) solar PV on 1 April 2015, the cost of solar power projects has declined sufficiently to continue to attract investment.

Jamie Stewart, a senior power expert at market data provider Icis, was quoted by The Telegraph as saying: “In energy price terms, solar is low-cost and mostly produces cheap electricity during peak demand hours from 07:00-19:00.

“This means at peak times it keeps down wholesale power prices, which make up around 45pc of a household bill.”