Solar power’s transformative role in the UK’s energy landscape and net-zero goals

Solar power’s transformative role in the UK’s energy landscape and net-zero goals

Ongoing trends in the UK’s energy sector have outlined how our society is already progressing towards the government’s 2050 net-zero strategy. Businesses across the globe reiterate the strategy aiming to maximise product efficiency and profitability. Here, Dr Neha Chaturvedi, head collar researcher at photovoltaic technology specialist NextGen Nano, describes the latest advancements in solar PV technology and evaluates how UK energy trends are changing amongst a turbulent political landscape.

Solar energy is not a contemporary concept. Although the recent surge in ecological energy advancements and attention may suggest otherwise – the sun had consistently posed as our greatest power source and opportunity for renewable energy. Early civilisations going as far back as the 7th century began harnessing solar power to light torches with mirrors – although less technologically advanced – the utilisation of the sun’s power has consistently been at the forefront.

Technological innovation has since reflected society’s development throughout history, and today the concept of solar power represents a new age of clean power, where renewable energy production can sustain mass populations and generate sufficient profitability.

According to the Office for National Statistics, over the last year 2.9 GW of new renewable capacity has been added to the UK’s energy production, a 5.4 per cent increase with the largest contribution being solar PV at 1.1GW. For the last six years, statistics have been driven by rising numbers of small-scale installations such as solar panel placement on residential infrastructure.

Politics, progress, innovation

The influx of demand is promoted by the dominance of clean power across mainstream media, and the shift in focus from governments in recent years. Global conflicts have had devastating impacts on the UK’s energy sector resulting in inflated costs and more calls to nationalise power supply.

For 2024, the policies surrounding renewable energy become ever more prevalent with approaching general elections in the USA and the UK in early 2025. Politics has become more embedded within efficient energy development and regulation, creating management tactics and roadmaps that are often unable to sustain global advancements such as Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin certificates (REGOs), configured and recognised in the UK but not the EU due to Brexit. REGOs provide transparency to consumers, and the certificate displays the proportion of electricity that suppliers source from renewable energy.

Future focused PV technology

The favourability of solar power encourages companies like Next Gen Nano to maintain their momentum in developing their PV technology. At NextGen Nano our goal is to achieve efficient and versatile solar PV cells which align with the financial prospects of the current market.

Even with the support for solar energy, it is vital that we do not slip into tomorrow’s sustainability issue. Large proportions of PV technology on the market currently contain silicon and are not recyclable, which defeats the objectives when it comes to creating a sustainable power source.

For prospects of solar power to continue blooming, innovative concepts aiming to redesign the current solar mechanisms are essential. In the case of NextGen Nano, our focus centres around developing cells comprised of completely organic material.

The fluorine tin oxide (FTO) we use in our solar cells also poses as a key component when making the cells a financially viable option. Compared to the silicon oxide counterparts, the solar cells used by NextGen Nano are cheaper, transparent, and flexible meaning they could be used more regularly in infrastructure – with the capacity to replace the glass in windows.

The UK’s energy trends display the commencing surge in solar PV technology in the nation’s mainstream energy production. With popularity comes innovation, and technology must be continuously reinvented to reach an idealised sustainable future. Businesses and governments must consider long term solutions and move quick enough to generate ideas that utilise current science and society’s attitudes.

To find out more about the benefits of solar power over other form of renewable energy or to learn about NextGen Nano’s innovative PV technology visit

Read more industry feature articles here

Related posts