Wednesday, 13 July 2016

UK Solar Power Reaches New Milestone

Most of us are fully aware of the fact that the UK is a world leader in clean energy – particularly in the area of solar - so it should be no surprise that a new analysis offered by the Solar Trade Association (STA) reveals that producers have recently hit the latest milestone in solar energy production, by generating nearly 24% of the total energy demand during the afternoon hours of 5 June 2016.

According to the STA, the UK is now home to almost 12 GW of solar power capacity that, at peak generation, can produce up to 25% of the nation's total energy needs. The STA is firmly behind solar as the best way to provide clean energy and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Chief executive Paul Barwell was quoted by E&T magazine as saying, "This is what the country and the world needs to decarbonise the energy sector at the lowest price to the consumer."


Solar Farms and Rooftop Installations:

The popularity of solar power in the UK is evident by the rapid uptake of both solar farms and rooftop installations. According to E&T magazine, one particular rooftop installation in Telford consists of 14,000 solar panels on top of a commercial building operated by Lyreco. The magazine goes on to say that all of the clean energy sources currently in use in the UK, combine to provide more than 25% of the UK's total power generation.

Across the UK, more and more homes are being fitted with solar panels for two purposes. Consumers are utilising PV systems to generate direct electrical current and solar thermal systems for hot water and space heat. Commercial and industrial enterprises are also embracing solar for space heat, process heat and hot water.

The STA says that all the solar industry needs at this point is one more "push from the government" to reach its goal of being subsidy-free sometime early in the next decade. The government seems like it is on board, for now.


Solar for Data Centre Requirements:

We are thrilled to know that solar and other clean energy sources are doing so well and, to have UK solar capacity reach this most recent milestone is certainly encouraging. It leads us to wonder if we will ever see a viable solar application for powering data centres. Finding some sort of renewable solution is critical given the fact that data centres are among the most prolific power consumers in the world. If we can find a way to get data centres off fossil fuels, doing so would have a tremendous impact on meeting clean energy goals.

Solar isn't adequate for data centre needs in its present form. But we can envision a day when highly efficient solar thermal systems with sufficient storage capacity could be used to generate the power requirements of a data centre in order for it to operate 24/7. A development like this would certainly be exciting and one that all of us in the data centre industry would be absolutely thrilled to see.

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