Nation Celebrates UK’s Energy Favourite on Solar Independence Day

Octopus Energy customers to achieve full solar independence at noon today

Beauty of solar to be captured by Getty Images

The 4th Solar Independence Day was underway today with the STA and its members leading the traditional national celebration on social media of the many benefits of going solar.

Solar supplied 6.5% of the UK’s electricity over the last month [1]. 880,000 homes in the UK now have solar power, over 40,000 small businesses, 1,000 schools and a quarter of all farmers. Data released by BEIS last week [2] shows that solar power has grown to a record 12.3GW of power. This is spread across 916,800 installations – approaching one million schemes. Including solar thermal there are around 1,175,000 solar energy schemes in the UK – well over a million. A staggering 86% of the British public say they back solar [3], making it unequivocally the nation’s favourite source of energy.

Leonie Greene, STA's Head of External Affairs, said:
“This is the fourth year we’ll be celebrating solar and the British solar industry has delivered spectacularly, despite a rocky ride. Since the first Solar Independence Day in 2014 solar power capacity has grown nearly three-fold. Our message today is that solar delivers real energy independence and the power to act on climate change to people, communities and organisations everywhere and indeed to the UK itself.  But it’s over to everyone else on Solar Independence Day to tell us why solar matters to them.”

As usual STA members will be marking the day in creative ways. Supplier Octopus Energy will be delivering solar independence for its customers at noon today by sourcing all of its power from solar. Greg Jackson, CEO of Octopus Energy who contract with seven major solar sites across the UK and who aim to supply all their customers with 50% renewable power, said:

“We're delighted to mark Solar Independence Day by supplying all of our Octopus Energy customers with solar power at noon, making them wholly independent of fossil fuels. The good news is that people shouldn't have to pay extra for clean energy and a safe climate. Solar is now only a little more expensive than gas and we believe passionately that consumers deserve fairly priced energy from renewable sources.”
Amongst the variety of activities, STA member Fronius UK Ltd will be marking the occasion by baking a Solar Independence Day cake and AES Solar has produced a video of a solar thermal installation that the STA will release today. The National Farmers' Union will be Tweeting pictures of solar farms and Getty Images will be out capturing the beauty of solar installations across London in anticipation of the Mayor of London’s Solar Action Plan, which is expected shortly.

MyGridGB will be Tweeting solar output throughout the day with an expectation, despite cloud covering much of the UK today, of reaching 4GW of output by lunchtime, around 11% of electricity supply.

The STA anticipates a variety of MPs, companies, charities, community energy schemes and members of the public will chip in today to share what they love about solar.

Follow @TheSolarTrade for all the day’s events and use the hashtag #SolarIndependenceDay.