Solar Energy UK has set out a roadmap to treble solar PV capacity over the next eight years.

In a new report titled 'Lighting the way', the trade body reveals the policy and regulatory changes it thinks are needed to 'unleash' the potential of solar energy in the UK, and sets out its plan to deliver the 40GW of operational capacity needed by the end of the decade for the UK to remain on track for a net zero carbon economy.

Delivering that 40GW of solar energy will require policy changes across the residential, commercial, and utility-scale markets, and Solar Energy UK makes several recommendations for achieving this, including business rates reform, an end to VAT for solar energy systems, and solar PV’s continued eligibility for Government-led clean power auctions.

It also considers the impact of improved building standards for homes and commercial properties, funding of retrofitted solar on homes and public buildings, and changes to solar park planning definitions, among other recommendations.

Under a business-as-usual scenario, UK solar PV capacity is already set to more than double over the next decade, demonstrating the continued strength of the industry despite the absence of government subsidy. However, this would still leave the UK more than 11GW shy of the level required to meet the UK’s climate change commitments.

Successfully trebling the UK’s solar energy capacity by 2030 could cut total UK carbon emissions by 21.2 million tonnes per year, replacing fossil fuels with cleaner power, equating to 4.7% of the UK’s emissions in 2019. This level of deployment would also deliver thousands of skilled jobs, and an estimated £17billion in additional economic activity.

Solar Energy UK chief executive Chris Hewett said: “Solar companies up and down the country are in a strong position to deliver the growth needed to meet the UK’s climate commitments. However, the Government must act now to accelerate deployment to ensure their net zero targets are met. Jobs, economic growth, and a massive reduction in carbon emissions are all up for grabs.

"Solar is affordable, reliable, and immensely popular with the public. Every additional unit of solar energy generated in the UK cuts the amount of coal and gas we burn today. It can and must play a bigger role in the UK’s green economic recovery.”

The full report can be accessed at