Figures from the solar industry have emphasised the need to install solar panels on all new housing developments to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee.
Implementing solar rooftop installations into new builds helps to comply with the new Future Homes Standard, which aims to slash carbon emissions in new homes by 80% in comparison to previously built homes on outdated regulations. This is a factor Ian Rippin, CEO of MCS, has regarded as a “mainstay” in the new regulations.
Solar Energy UK stated that current expectations are that about two-thirds of capacity in 2035 will be in solar farms, with the rest split between residential and commercial sectors. On the residential side, ensuring solar is installed on all new builds could prove to be a revelation and boost the renewable sector significantly.
Chris Hewett, CEO of Solar Energy UK, believes that an additional solar generation stream could come from floating solar, including offshore floating solar – an innovative technology that is currently being explored round the globe. This provides a basis to place large-scale solar projects on water without taking up land space – a controversial topic highlighted in recent political developments.
Hewett also added that, to unlock and help the residential solar sector, access to cheap capital could boost installations.
A stumbling block for the solar sector continues to be connection delays. These have grown signfiicnatly in recent years as renewable projects continue to be approved and developed with many facing delays of up to 10 years. As a result, this is putting off investors in the sector and is urgently needed to be addressed, as Anna McMorrin MP stated.
To solve this issue, Professor Alastair Buckley, professor of organic electronics at the University of Sheffield, stated that the creation of regional targets for grid connections could help incentivise distribution network operators to innovate and rectify issues.
Find out more about key topics discussed in the Environmental Audit Committee meeting here.