One in 45 Bury households have solar panels – as installations across UK spike
One in 45 households in Bury have solar panels installed on their roofs, new figures show.
It comes as the number of people across the UK exploring alternative energy sources like solar power has soared this year, with more people installing solar panels in March than in any month since December 2015.
Friends of the Earth said the rise in solar panel installations is "really encouraging", with people motivated by rising energy prices and the falling cost of solar technology.
The latest MCS Data Dashboard data shows 1,774 households in Bury have solar panels installed on their property by MCS-certified companies as of June 9.
It means 2.2% of households in the area have solar power technology in their homes.
Across the UK, 17,600 solar panel systems were installed on homes in March alone – the highest figure of any month in almost eight years, when there were 25,200 in December 2015.
In the early 2010s, the electricity generated by domestic solar panels could be sold back to the national grid for a generous profit.
This feed-in tariff was cut at the end of 2015 and was closed to new customers in March 2019. As a result, barring a spike in March that year, installation numbers have been significantly reduced ever since December 2015 until this year.
Mike Childs, head of science, policy and research at Friends of the Earth, said the increase in solar panel installations is down to soaring energy prices, lower installation costs and a "growing awareness about climate breakdown".
But Mr Childs added the pace of switching to clean energy is too slow and called on the Government to further encourage people to invest in green sources, such as solar power.
"Installing solar panels is an opportunity extended only to those who can front the costs, with many millions who simply can’t afford that kind of investment," he said.
"There are so many solutions that can make how we power and heat our homes greener. The Government must make it easier for people to access insulation, heat pumps and solar which are all a win for the planet as much as they are for reducing energy costs."
The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero said solar power is "a key part of our plans to power up Britain, helping to deliver cheaper, cleaner and more secure homegrown energy".
A spokesperson said the Government is working to connect projects to the grid faster. They added nearly all of the UK's solar capacity has been installed since 2010.
Current targets would see the UK produce 70 gigawatts of solar capacity by 2035.