The security challenge for solar energy

Sunlight is the 'fuel' that solar panels use to generate electricity, and can be considered a secure source because it does not need to be imported.

The challenge

Solar power is not subject to international price fluctuations or geopolitical disruptions to supply. It is possible for the supply of sunlight to be disrupted, but this is due to its inherent intermittency as an energy source.

The solution

Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels could help to reduce UK demand for fuel sources that need to be imported, improving our energy security overall.

As more of UK electricity needs are fulfilled by solar PV panels, fewer will need to be met by other energy sources, some of which run on fuels that must be imported.

However, the intermittency of solar power means that backup power is needed to ensure security of supply. Addressing the inherent intermittency of solar PV as an energy source is another step on the way to a secure UK electricity supply.