Solar power generation across the UK has hit a record high.

Last Friday saw 8.7 gigawatts (GW) of solar generation at midday representing 24.3% of total generation across the UK. The level beat the previous record of 8.48GW set on 10 May.

Duncan Burt, who heads up National Grid’s control room operations, where they match supply and demand, described the milestone as the beginning of a new era.

“We now have significant volumes of renewable energy on the system and as this trend continues, our ability to forecast these patterns is becoming more and more important.

“We have an expert team of forecasters who monitor a range of data, to forecast just how much electricity will be needed over a set period.

“We have planned for these changes to the energy landscape and have the tools available to ensure we can balance supply and demand. It really is the beginning of a new era, which we are prepared for and excited to play our part”.

‘Colossal achievement’

Paul Barwell, Chief Executive of the Solar Trade Association, said:

“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.”

Hannah Martin, Greenpeace UK’s Head of Energy, said the new record was a “reminder of what the UK could achieve if our Government reversed its cuts to support for solar and backed the clean technologies that could provide jobs, business opportunities and plentiful clean energy for decades to come”.

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