Many UK residents believe that solar energy is only produced in the summer months and in the desert
Solar energy only produced in the summer months, only available in the desert, and not produced when it's overcast are some of the findings from new research that reveals a lack of awareness of how solar energy works and can benefit the British public.
A massive education campaign will be required to raise awareness of how solar energy works if we are to tackle climate change, reduce greenhouse gases and learn the benefits of having solar panels installed to create the energy required to run our homes.
Research revealed today from Project Solar UK reveals 7.4 million Brits (13.8%) think that you cannot get solar energy if it’s overcast.
5.7 million (10.7%) Brits think solar energy can only be produced in the summer months drawing attention to the myths about how solar panels work.
4 million Brits (7.5%) think you can only store solar energy if you live in the desert suggesting that people believe it cannot be stored by people living in Britain.
One reason that may be putting people off finding out more is that they have concerns about investing in solar panels. It appears that 7.4 million (13.8%) Brits think solar energy is more expensive than fossil fuels when in fact investing in this sun-powered system can save money over time.
There is also a misunderstanding around storing solar energy (which can be done simply through having a battery as part of domestic solar panels set up) with 6 million (11.1%) Brits thinking that solar energy can only be stored if it's above 20 degrees. Awareness of how the battery works is clearly low and an awareness-raising exercise will need to be undertaken if people are to actively consider moving from gas and oil to energy from the sun.
Simon Peat, CEO of Project Solar UK, who commissioned the research, has worked in the solar industry for over a decade was not surprised by the results. “There is a lot of work to do to help people understand that we can all take advantage of the sun’s energy to help heat and light our homes and run our appliances. It’s concerning that even now more than 7.5% of the British population consider that you need to live in the desert to access the full benefits of the sun to create energy. We have thousands of examples of domestic installations where people who live in towns and cities that may be considered to be mainly overcast and not particularly sunny, have taken full advantage of solar panels and are saving money on energy bills,” says Simon.