UK renewable energy is showing no signs of slowing down, according to data from an industry accreditation scheme.
Data from the MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme), the industry’s official standards body, shows there have been 1.7 million installations across the UK since the scheme launched, with more than 220,500 installations registered in 2023 alone.
The surge in green energy adoption by households is leading to an increase in the installation of renewable energy sources like ground and air source heat pumps.
25% increase in air source heat pump installations
There was a 25% increase in MCS-certified air-source heat pump installations in 2023, with 35,000 certified heat pump installations, including air and ground source heat pumps, registered across the UK, according to the data from MCS.
Meanwhile, the total number of certified heat pumps installed across the UK has now surpassed 200,000.
However, the MCS states that there is still a long way to go to meet UK Government ambitions of 600,000 heat pump installations a year by 2028.
MCS CEO Ian Rippin said: “It’s critical that we have a dedicated pathway to develop an army of renewable heating installers with certifiable skills who know how to design and fit low-carbon heating systems to the highest possible standard.”
Installing an air source heat pump shows UK homeowners are turning to renewable energy to heat and power their homes, the MCS says.
Over 183,000 solar panel installations
The data shows solar PV continues to be the most popular renewable technology amongst UK homeowners.
More than 183,000 certified solar panels installations have been installed across the country in 2023, exceeding the 138,000 total in 2022 by a third.
Rippin added: “The growth in solar PV mirrors the growing demand amongst homeowners to generate their own home-grown electricity, reducing energy bills, claiming energy independence, and decreasing their carbon footprint.”
Battery storage becomes Britain’s third most popular renewable technology
MCS also revealed that 2023 was a record-breaking year for battery storage with the technology becoming the third most popular technology type to be installed amongst its certified contractor base.
Installations of the technology in 2023 saw an unprecedented rise with 4,400 of the 4,700 certified batteries in the country being installed solely in 2023.
This is set to rise with the Future Homes Standard (FHS), as the government has promoted the use of battery systems in homes from 2025 to help qualify for the FHS and they should be installed in new solar-powered homes with MCS accreditation.
Increase predicted to extend into 2024
MCS expects to see more and more UK homeowners transition to renewable energy to heat and power their homes in 2024.
Rippin concludes: “The year has got off to a remarkable start as our robust, near-real-time data demonstrates how we are playing a vital role in domestic decarbonisation."
“We need to continue to push this expansion to meet our shared national ambitions to reach net zero by 2050. More consumers have the confidence to invest in small-scale renewables now than ever, but we have to make that transition even easier.”
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Sam is based in Coventry and has been a news reporter for nearly 20 years. His work has featured in the Mirror, The Sun, MailOnline, the Independent, and news outlets throughout the world. As a copywriter, he has written for clients as diverse as Saint-Gobain, Michelin, Halfords Autocentre, Great British Heating, and Irwin Industrial Tools. During the pandemic, he converted a van into a mini-camper and is currently planning to convert his shed into an office and Star Wars shrine.