The number of new solar power installations in the UK has dropped for the second year in a row, according to a new study published by Solar Power Europe this week.
The decline has been so steep that is has brought the entire EU average down to practically zero, despite several European countries installing record-breaking numbers of panels last year.
The UK installed 4.1GW worth of new solar panels in 2015
In 2016, the figure was down to just under 2GW
Last year, we installed just0.95GW
Lack of government support
The sharp drop has been blamed on government cuts to solar panel subsidies, making them a less attractive financial investment to homeowners and businesses.
The Labour party have called the government’s commitment to green energy “nothing but an empty PR move”, while the chief executive of Solar Power Europe said “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.”
Energy and climate change secretary Amber Rudd challenged the criticism, stating that the cuts were necessary to keep energy bills down “whilst ensuring there is a sensible level of support for low carbon technologies that represent value for money.”
Still a world leader
Despite the recent slow growth, Britain is still ranked sixth internationally in terms of installed solar capacity, and third in Europe behind Germany and Italy. China are now the biggest, with a total of 130GW installed capacity providing 1.07% of the country’s consumption.
The 2018 World Cup kicks off in Russia later this month, so what better time to take a look at some of the most eco-friendly, energy efficient football stadiums in the world.
Stadium owners around the globe have been making big steps to cut the environmental impact of these huge energy-hungry buildings, from covering roofs in solar panels to recovering & recycling rainwater. And it’s not just national stadiums and top-flight clubs that are going green – one non-league English team features on our list, with one of the most eco-friendly football grounds in the world!
You can check out the full list in the infographic below. If you would like to re-publish it on your own website or blog, we have included some easy embed codes at the bottom.
(Click or tap on the image for a better view).
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<img src="https://www.eversmartenergy.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/green-stadiums-infographic.jpg" alt="Green Football Stadiums - Infographic by Eversmart Energy" width="800" height="7779" /> <p>Infographic by <a href="https://www.eversmartenergy.co.uk/">Eversmart Energy</a></p>
California has become the first state in the USA to make solar panels compulsory on all new homes and apartment buildings, starting from 2020.
The plan, which still needs approval from the Building Standards Commission, was recently approved by the California Energy Commission in an effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Existing laws already require that at least 50% of the state’s energy comes from renewable sources.
California is the most populous states in the US, and one of the sunniest. It has already invested over $42m in solar energy, with around 16% of the state’s energy coming from solar last year.
It is estimated that adding solar panels will add around $8,000 – $12,000 to the cost of a new home, as some critics have been quick to point out. However, the California Energy Commission has argued that the extra cost will only add around $40 a month to an average mortgage, and that the panels will save homeowners around $80 per month in electricity bills.
Some homes will be exempt from the new law if installing solar panels is not feasible – for example, homes that are usually in the shade. Existing homeowners will not be forced to get panels, although government rebate programmes are available for those who wish to do so. The new rules would apply to single-family residences and multi-family buildings up to three stories high.
“We cannot let Californians be in homes that are essentially the residential equivalent of gas guzzlers”, said commissioner of the California Energy Commission David Hochschild, describing the new law as a “very bold and visionary step”.
Experts predict that the world will run out of traditional fossil fuels within fifty to one hundred years from now.
Renewable energy sources – such as wind, solar, wave, tidal and geothermal energy – have been steadily growing in popularity around the world for well over a decade, and as resources like coal and gas become more scarce,the world will need to up its renewable capacity.
Have you ever been confused by renewable energy? This excellent short video from National Geographic explains what it is, the advantages and disadvantages of alternative energy, and the challenges the world still needs to overcome in order to let go of our fossil fuel dependency.
The video answers questions such as:
What is renewable energy?
What are the most common sources of renewable power?