The United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is in 12th position in solar energy generation with an installed capacity of 15 Gigawatt as of 2023. This piece will focus on the ambition and strategy, upcoming solar power plants, and top operators in the sector and elucidate obstacles hindering growth in the industry.

Ambition & Strategy:

The government intends to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and attain 100 per cent renewable-based electricity generation by 2035. The aim is to install 70 Gigawatt of solar power and 50 Gigawatt offshore wind power by 2030. The government has unveiled a £16 million funding package allocated to 12 projects, primarily aimed at reducing the installation costs of solar panels for domestic and corporate purposes.

Upcoming Solar Powerplants:

  • Queenqueg Renewables is to construct the Queenqueg Solar PV Park. It is at the announced stage, likely to begin construction in 2025 and operations in 2027 with a capacity of 1300 Megawatt.
  • Great North Road Solar PV Project is in East Midland of England. It is at the announced stage, likely to be commissioned in 2029, with a capacity of 1000 Megawatt.
  • Botley West Solar Farm is in England. It is owned and developed by Photovolt Development Partners. It is at the permitting stage and likely to begin commercial operations in 2026 with a capacity of 840 Megawatt.
  • Springwell Solar Farm is in England, to be built by Luminous Energy and EDF Renewables. It is at the announced stage, likely to be commissioned in 2027, with a capacity of 800 Megawatt.
  • PS Renewables collaborates with Orsted and is to own and develop the One Earth Solar Farm. It is at the announced stage, likely to be commissioned in 2030, with a capacity of 740 Megawatt.

Top Operators:

  • Solarcentury, headquartered in London, was founded in 1998. It is the largest solar energy company in the United Kingdom and specialises in generating electricity from solar power.
  • MAK Energy, headquartered in Wickford, was founded in 2008. It is a leading solar panel installer and offers battery storage systems, on-site technical assistance, and back-office services.
  • Lightsource BP, headquartered in London, was founded in 2010. It is the largest solar developer in Europe and develops, finances, builds, and operates solar power plants.
  • Oxford Solar PV, headquartered in Wheatley, was founded in 2010. It is a solar energy equipment supplier offering low-cost and highly efficient solar cells to improve solar panels performance.
  • Eco Energy World, headquartered in London, was founded in 2008. They develop utility-scale solar PV projects.


  • The biggest obstacle is that solar power, by nature, is intermittent, implying that it is variable and thereby challenges the electric grid stability as electricity supply must always match electricity demand.
  • The second issue is that while the operating costs of solar power are lower than those of coal plants, it demands a substantial upfront investment, which can be financially burdensome for developers.
  • The third hindrance lies in the shortage of skilled labour, as constructing solar power infrastructure necessitates individuals with expertise in panel installation, maintenance, and grid integration.


The solar energy sector in the United Kingdom is on the brink of substantial expansion, aligning with the ambitious targets for increasing renewable energy adoption. With strategic plans aiming for net-zero emissions and investments in solar infrastructure, including upcoming projects like Queenqueg Solar PV Park and the Great North Road Solar PV Project, the nation is on track to diversify its energy mix. Leading operators such as Solarcentury and Lightsource BP demonstrate the sector’s vitality. However, challenges such as intermittency, high initial investment costs, and skilled labour shortages require concerted efforts for sustainable development. Successfully overcoming these obstacles will be pivotal in unlocking the full potential of solar energy within the journey toward transitioning its energy landscape.


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