Covid-19 sparks surge in demand for THESE renewable energies

Written by Lori Campbell on 5th May 2020

The majority of Brits plan to turn to renewable energy to power their homes following the coronavirus crisis, reveals a new report.

The survey by energy switching service Save On Energy reveals that while only six per cent of Brits currently have a form of renewable energy installed in their homes, a massive 67 per cent plan to invest in it in the future.

Solar panels top choice

The new poll of 2,500 Brits reveals that solar panels are the most popular option with three quarters (74 per cent) keen to get them installed. Almost half (49 per cent) would be interested in wind turbines, while nearly a quarter (18 per cent) would go for solar water heating.

Other popular choices are solar ovens (17 per cent), solar air conditioning (15 per cent) and tubular skylights (eight per cent).

The coronavirus lockdown has caused the biggest drop in energy demand in history. With people around the world consuming less oil, gas and coal, 2020 is set to see an unprecedented eight per cent drop in global carbon dioxide emissions, according to the International Energy Agency.

Record rise for renewables

But with overall demand for energy plummeting, renewables have experienced a record rise in the first quarter of 2020.

In many countries, renewables are being given first priority to feed electricity into the grid. This means that producers of solar, wind and hydro power are able to sell all the power they produce even as fossil-fuel generators turn down or shut off completely to prevent a system overload.

This week UK-listed oil giant Shell announced that it is cutting its dividend to investors by a whopping 60 per cent – the first time it has made a cut since the Second World War.

Experts are now predicting that many people will see this as the right time to turn to renewables for their energy needs.

“The energy industry that emerges from this crisis will be significantly different from the one that came before,” said Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director.

Brits predict quick transition

The new poll revealed that Brits are optimistic about the world’s transition to renewable energy. Almost half (41 per cent) said they expect that the world will be fully moved over to renewable energy in the next 16-30 years meaning most would live to see such a change.

With solar panels the top renewables choice for most Brits, Save On Energy offers these top tips for getting them installed:

1. Consider whether your home is a good fit for solar panels

If you have a large enough roof that will generate enough energy to power the home, solar panels can be a great investment. However, a smaller roof means the panels won’t generate enough energy for the home and to cover all costs. Ensure it is the right choice for you before going ahead.

2. Check to see if planning permission is required

Contact your local council to see if planning permission is necessary. It won’t be if your solar panels are below a certain size or you live in a listed building, conservation area or World Heritage site, but you should always double check first.

3. Find the right solar panel installation company

Once you’ve decided solar panels are right for you, it’s time to find the right installer. After finding a local company, request a site visit along with a technical survey. It also pays to request the addresses for other installations so you can see examples of previous work. Finally, if possible, opt for an installer who is Microgeneration Certification Scheme-certified.

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