Research reveals UK regions with the most household solar installations

New research which analyses the number of solar panels across the UK has revealed that nine of the top ten regions with the most household installations are in Wales or Scotland.

Solar panels being installed on the roof of a house

A team from Independent Advisor, connected to the Independent newspaper, analysed various data sets, including from MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme), ONS (Office for National Statistics) and DESNZ (the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero), to come up with the findings.

They looked at the number of solar panels installed, installed capacity (KWh) and average hours of sunshine in each region of the UK to reveal solar hotspots.

The top three regions are all in Wales, with the Isle of Anglesey in the number one spot, where 4.21% of households have solar panel installations. The island off the north west coast of Wales ranks seventh overall in the UK’s solar hotspots with a score of 8.6 out of 10. This is followed by Ceredigion (4.12%) and Powys (3.29%).

The 1,981 solar installations in Powys in 2023/24 accounted for 3.29% of all households in the area. The county has seen a 461% increase in solar panel installations from 2018/9 to 2023/4, the 25th highest increase in the UK.

The fourth and fifth locations on the list are in Scotland – Moray (2.64%) and Dumfries and Galloway (2.57%) – followed by Pembrokeshire (2.54%), Perth and Kinross (2.39%), East Lothian (2.38%) and Gwynedd (2.37%).

Overall, Wales had the highest increase in solar power installations with a 300% rise. It went from 4,441 solar panel installations in 2018/19 to 17,763 in 2023/24. 

Data for English regions

The first English region to feature on the list is South Cambridgeshire in the number 10 spot where 2.23% of households have a solar installation.   

This ties in with a recent report from MCS looking at the areas of England with the most certified installations of both solar panels and heat pumps in 2023.

It found South Cambridgeshire had the highest percentage of installations, while Cornwall led the way with the actual number of installs at 4,890. England’s top five performing areas were Cornwall, South Cambridgeshire, Winchester, South Hams and South Norfolk, according to the MCS data. 

Solar panels can ‘generate annual energy savings of up to £1,190’

Katharine Allison, energy-saving expert at Independent Advisor, said: “It’s great that solar panels are becoming more popular in the UK. Some regions now produce upwards of 3.4 million kWh annually – saving approximately 700,000 in CO2(e) from non-green energy production. While this technology requires an upfront investment, many people around the UK are seeing the benefits. 

“For a typical three-bedroom home, the upfront cost of installing solar panels with a storage battery is approximately £9,000. However, these solar panels can generate annual energy savings of up to £1,190, allowing the initial investment to pay for itself through lower utility bills in as little as eight years. 

“The best solar panels on the market will harness the energy from daylight and transform it into usable electricity — which means they also decrease the dependency on fossil fuels.”

Image credit: Adobe Stock