UK sees growth in solar power half for second consecutive year
New solar power installations have dropped by half for the second year in a row in the UK.
It is anticipated that the drop in solar growth is linked to the government’s subsidy cuts.
Last year, the total capacity of installed solar hit 0.95GW, falling from 1.97GW in 2016 and 4.1GW in 2015.
The UK’s installations figures were so low they brought down the European Union’s (EU) despite the solar being on a global rise.
“Even though 21 of the 28 EU markets showed growth, this wasn’t enough to compensate for the British losses,” reads SolarPowerEurope’s Global Market Outlook 2018-2022 report.
In the top 20 solar markets in the world, the UK had the slowest growth and the lowest growth prospects in Europe, claims the continent’s solar trade body.
“Solar power has been voted the most popular energy source in the UK, it is therefore sad to see the UK government not take advantage of the huge potential of solar,” said James Watson, CEO of SolarPowerEurope.
The political party, Labour, has argued the Conservative government’s pledges towards renewable power were “nothing but an empty PR move”, the Guardian reported.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.