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Solar Energy UK statement on a zero carbon electricity system by 2035

04 October 2021

The prospect of the Prime Minister endorsing a carbon-free power system by 2035 is very exciting and hugely welcome. The energy industry has already called on the government to set such a target, with consensus on the need for at least 40GW offshore wind, 40GW solar and 30GW onshore wind by 2030, alongside substantial increases in energy storage.  

The Committee on Climate Change has previously considered much of how zero carbon power could happen. For solar energy, they suggest it could mean needing to quadruple UK capacity to 54 GW by 2035. Solar Energy UK has called on the government at least to triple capacity to 40GW by 2030, which could provide 13,000 new jobs and at least 10 per cent of the UK’s power by 2030. 

Whilst government support and taxpayer funding are required still, for some low carbon technologies, solar, and wind are now the cheapest forms of power in the country. So will be the backbone of the transition whilst guaranteeing the lowest energy prices possible.   

There are enough solar projects currently being developed to double the UK solar output in less than a decade – growing more than 8GW in the last 12 months alone. 

By Chris Hewett, Chief Executive at SEUK.