20 interesting facts about solar energy and PV & battery storage systems

By Mara Mar 29, 2022

According to the latest estimates by photovoltaics publication PV Magazine, there are now enough solar panels installed throughout the world to generate one terawatt (TW) of electricity from the sun, the equivalent to what would be needed to power the whole of Europe. This marks a significant milestone for renewable energy adoption to fight climate change and accelerate the end of fossil fuels.

Based on current market trends, BloombergNEF estimates that solar power will account for roughly 20% of the European energy mix by 2040, with ​​China, Europe and the US accounting for more than half of installed solar capacity globally.

With energy prices spiking rapidly due to the current energy crisis and Google searches for ‘energy bill help’ surging by over 3000% in the UK in recent months, there has never been a better time to invest in renewable energy. It’s not surprising that residential solar PV installations and battery storage have recently seen record growth, which won’t stop in the foreseeable future.

For those interested in knowing more about the topic, we’ve put together a list of the top 20 facts and statistics on solar energy, solar panels and home energy storage.

  1. Solar energy is the most abundant energy resource on our planet. There’s enough solar energy hitting the Earth every hour to meet all of humanity’s energy needs for an entire year.
  2.    Solar energy produces no pollution when generating electricity.
  3. In 1839, French physicist Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect, the solar cell’s operating principle.
  4. Solar panels don’t need direct sunlight to generate electricity.
  5. According to a 2020 report by IRENA, renewables are now the cheapest sources of electricity globally.
  6. Currently, China is the world leader in solar energy generation.
  7. According to the UK government’s 2020 report, around 970,000 UK homes (3.3%) have solar PV panels installed.
  8. By 2020, solar panels accounted for 11,730 megawatts of electricity generation in England.
  9. The UK procured a record-breaking 2.9GW of energy flexibility in 2021 – putting the country considerably ahead of every other nation in Europe.
  10. The United States has the second-highest total solar PV capacity, about 2.8% of the United States’ total energy consumption.
  11. California leads the US in solar energy production, followed by Texas and Florida.
  12. It took the US solar industry 40 years to reach 1 million solar panels installations, but it got 2 million three years later, in 2019.
  13. Coming in at 320 MW, the largest floating solar farm in the world in 2022 is the Dezhou Dingzhuang Floating Solar Farm in Dezhou, China.
  14. Solar panel guarantees typically run 20-25 years.
  15. When you install a battery storage system as part of your PV solar system, you can store all the extra electricity you generate throughout the day but don’t use.
  16. The US energy storage market set a new record in the fourth quarter of 2021, with new system installations totalling 4,727MWh. Residential storage had its strongest quarter to date with 123MW installed.
  17. In the UK, battery storage systems are particularly well suited to those who have time-of-use tariffs, as they can generate additional savings by using energy at off-peak times.
  18. In Germany, around 70% of solar PV systems are installed alongside a battery.
  19. One of the most significant benefits of energy storage is that it helps the grid to better integrate renewable energy by providing flexibility at a grid level.
  20. According to IRENA, jobs in renewables would reach 42 million globally by 2050, four times their current level, through the increased focus of investments on renewables.

With this renewable energy job boom, there’s no better time to make a career move and join a company that is committed to decarbonising our energy system and building a greener future. Check out our open positions and join our fantastic team!