Friday, May 26, was a beautiful late spring day in the UK. All that sunshine led to the nation breaking a solar power record for the second time this month. Total solar power generation amounted to 8.7 gigawatts or 24.3% of demand for a period of time (midday). The previous solar power record for the UK was 8.48 gigawatts set earlier this month. The record amount of power from sunlight helped to make ~60% of the electricity on the grid at that time from low- or zero-carbon sources — wind, solar, and nuclear.
Renew Economy 29th May 2017 read more »
Britain’s biggest solar power company has shrugged off the cloud of drastic UK subsidy cuts by reinventing itself as an international firm with more than £3bn of projects planned. More than 12,000 solar jobs were lost in the industry after the government slashed support in 2015, but Solarcentury has survived by turning outward to target markets in Latin America and Europe. The firm, founded by former oil geologist Jeremy Leggett in 1998, generated 85% of its £168m revenues in the UK during 2015-16. This financial year it expects to flip to 85% of revenues coming from international markets. “We’d been successful in the UK, benefiting from the support scheme, and then in May 2015 the Tories came to power and completely changed direction: they wanted a nuclear power plant [Hinkley Point C], and frustrated renewables,” said Frans van den Heuvel, the company’s chief executive. The expertise the company built in the UK, where it fitted panels on 90,000 homes, has proved crucial in winning contracts abroad, he said.
Guardian 28th May 2017 read more »