Cornwall leads UK in renewable energy installations

When it comes to small-scale renewable energy installations, there’s nowhere quite like Cornwall.

Solar panels on a building.

According to data from MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme), UK’s quality mark for small-scale renewable energy, Cornwall has nearly 38,000 MCS certified renewable installations – more than any other local authority in the UK.

This means that more than 15% of Cornish households have an MCS certified renewable installation, including solar panels, heat pumps and battery storage.  

Solar panels are the predominant choice in Cornwall, making up 72% of all MCS certified renewable installations since 2008, with over 27,300 solar PV systems installed. This preference highlights the region’s commitment to harnessing solar energy, a trend that has persisted into 2024, with solar installations constituting 65% of this year’s renewable setups.

Representing the majority of the installations

Heat pumps are also gaining traction in Cornwall, with 2023 marking a record year with more than 1,500 MCS certified installations—a figure that continues to rise in 2024. As of the first four months of this year, Cornwall is on pace to break last year’s record, with air source heat pumps representing the majority of the installations.

This ongoing shift not only underscores the growth of sustainable energy solutions in Cornwall but also reflects the increasing desire among homeowners to generate their own electricity, reduce energy costs, and lower their environmental impact.

Free energy use from the sun

Ian Rippin, CEO of MCS, said: “As Cornwall is one of the sunniest spots in the UK, it’s no surprise that more homeowners in Cornwall are investing in solar panels to power their homes with free energy from the sun.” 

“But it’s also great to see how the grants and incentives available in Cornwall, like the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, continue to play a key role in helping homeowners make the switch to low-carbon heating more accessible and affordable. I look forward to seeing heat pump installations continue to rise both in Cornwall and across the UK.”    

The BUS offers homeowners and small business owners in England and Wales up to £7,500 towards the installation of a low-carbon heating system, such as a heat pump. The installation must be MCS certified to qualify for the grant. 

Image: MCS