The realm of renewable energy is ever-evolving, with 2024 set to mark a pivotal year in the push towards a more sustainable and efficient future. This year, the landscape is shaped by groundbreaking trends that promise to revolutionise how homeowners power their lives, how adventurers explore off the grid, and how travellers embark on eco-conscious journeys. Here, we delve into the top renewable energy trends of 2024, shining a light on solar advancements, energy storage breakthroughs, offshore wind milestones, and more.

Solar Energy Surge

2024 witnesses a significant surge in solar energy, with technological advancements and policy incentives driving growth. Solar panels are becoming more efficient and affordable, making residential solar power an increasingly attractive option for homeowners. For those on the move, portable solar solutions for motorhomes and travel are seeing improvements in power output and portability, enabling more people to harness the sun's energy wherever they go.


Energy Storage Breakthroughs

The revolution in energy storage technologies is a game-changer, especially for off-grid living. Advancements in battery storage are enhancing energy independence, with new battery technologies offering longer life spans, higher capacities, and faster charging times. This trend is critical for homeowners seeking to maximise their solar investments and for travellers in motorhomes or engaging in off-grid adventures, ensuring a reliable power supply round the clock.


Offshore Wind Energy’s Record High

Offshore wind energy is set to achieve an unprecedented milestone in 2024, with a record number of projects slated for development. This growth not only contributes significantly to renewable energy supply but also underscores the importance of diversifying energy sources. The expansion of offshore wind energy signifies a crucial step towards sustainable energy security and offers a blueprint for integrating large-scale renewable projects into national grids.

Declining Costs of Clean Energy Technologies

One of the most encouraging trends of 2024 is the continued decline in the costs of clean energy technologies. This trend is making renewable energy more accessible and affordable for a broader segment of the population. As the costs of solar panels, wind turbines, and battery storage decrease, we can expect to see a surge in adoption rates among homeowners, as well as in off-grid and travel applications, further driving the renewable energy revolution.

Green Hydrogen and Low-Carbon Solutions

The spotlight on green hydrogen in 2024 highlights its potential as a clean energy feedstock for ammonia, synthetic methane, and synthetic liquids. This trend is vital for reducing the carbon footprint of various sectors, including travel and off-grid living. With increased investment and policy support, green hydrogen is poised to play a significant role in the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Policy and Market Drivers

Global policies and market trends are playing a pivotal role in shaping the renewable energy landscape of 2024. Incentives, subsidies, and mandates are driving investments in clean energy technologies, while technological advancements are making renewable energy more competitive with traditional fossil fuels. This synergy between policy and market forces is accelerating the transition towards a more sustainable and renewable energy-dominated future.

And in the UK, there are new regulations in place allowing you to significantly cut down on costs and the formalities both as a business and as a consumer. Read on, we're covering the latest around the permitted development plan that is in effect since December 2023.

The Future of Renewable Energy

Looking beyond 2024, the future of renewable energy is bright, with continued innovations and policy support expected to drive further growth. The trends observed this year lay the groundwork for an even more sustainable, efficient, and interconnected world, where renewable energy powers homes, fuels adventures, and facilitates eco-conscious travel.

As we embrace these transformative trends, it's clear that renewable energy is not just about powering our homes or vehicles — it's about shaping a sustainable future for generations to come. By adopting renewable energy solutions, we can all be part of this exciting journey towards a greener planet.

Among the exciting advancements and policy shifts, one significant change stands to simplify the adoption of solar energy for many: the extension of permitted development rights for solar panels.

New Regulations Boosting Solar Panel Adoption

Understanding the Changes

In a landmark move, the UK government has recently amended the planning regulations to make solar panel installation on homes and businesses more straightforward. Homeowners with flat roofs are now permitted to install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels without needing prior planning permission. This change is poised to democratise access to solar energy, eliminating the bureaucratic barriers that previously deterred many.

Moreover, businesses can now install solar panels generating over 1MW of electricity without the hindrance of obtaining planning permission, a move that could significantly accelerate solar adoption across the industrial sector. The government's initiative extends to encouraging the use of developed land for solar energy, even simplifying the installation of panels above car parks, provided they are more than ten meters from residential homes.

Rationale Behind the Reforms

The rationale for these changes is clear: to facilitate the widespread adoption of solar energy by removing bureaucratic obstacles. This reform is expected to expedite the installation process, reduce costs, and importantly, contribute to a substantial reduction in energy bills and harmful emissions. It aligns with the broader governmental efforts encapsulated in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act, aimed at streamlining planning processes to meet net zero ambitions more efficiently.

Lee Rowley, the Housing and Planning Minister, emphasised the need for future-ready homes that align with net zero ambitions, highlighting the role of these reforms in cutting through the red tape of the planning system. Similarly, Graham Stuart, Energy Security and Net Zero Minister, pointed out that lifting the 1MW restriction for industrial rooftop solar is a strategic step towards achieving the target of 70GW of solar power by 2035.

Industry Enthusiasm for Planning Reforms

The reaction from the solar industry has been overwhelmingly positive, with experts lauding the decision as a significant boost for solar energy going into 2024. Phil Jolly from Van der Valk Solar Systems heralded the end of bureaucratic hurdles for flat roof installations as an "absolute no-brainer," anticipating widespread joy among professionals in the sector. Chris Hewett, Chief Executive of Solar Energy UK, highlighted the vast potential of commercial rooftops and welcomed the elimination of major obstacles to tapping into this opportunity.

These changes, encapsulated in The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development etc.) (England) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order 2023, effective from 21 December 2023, mark a pivotal moment for renewable energy adoption in the UK.

The extension of permitted development rights is a testament to the government's commitment to facilitating solar energy adoption. This initiative not only simplifies the process for homeowners and businesses but also underscores the importance of solar energy as a cornerstone of the UK's renewable energy strategy. As solar panel installations become more accessible, we can anticipate a significant uptick in adoption rates, further driving the renewable energy revolution forward.

The inclusion of these new rules and regulations enriches the renewable energy landscape in 2024, offering practical pathways for homeowners and businesses to embrace solar energy. This legislative shift is a clear signal of the government's support for renewable energy adoption, promising a brighter, more sustainable future for all.

By leveraging these changes, individuals and businesses can more easily contribute to the UK's net zero ambitions, reinforcing the role of renewable energy in powering our homes, fuelling adventures, and facilitating eco-conscious travel. The journey towards a greener planet is paved with innovation and supported by policies that encourage sustainable practices, making now an exciting time to explore renewable energy opportunities.

Solar Roadmap for 2024: Steering Towards a Brighter Future

In a visionary stride towards sustainability, the UK government has announced plans to unveil a comprehensive solar roadmap in 2024, a strategic blueprint poised to revolutionise the country's approach to solar energy. This ambitious strategy aims to nearly quintuple the UK's solar capacity by the pivotal year of 2035, spotlighting rooftop solar panels as a key player in the renewable energy arena. The roadmap promises to make solar energy more accessible and affordable for all, a move that will significantly influence the landscape of renewable energy adoption across the nation.

The solar roadmap is not just a plan but a commitment to a greener future, highlighting the government's dedication to driving the installation of rooftop solar panels. This focus on rooftop solar not only maximises the use of available space but also aligns with the nation's net zero ambitions by tapping into the untapped potential of urban and suburban areas. By simplifying the process and reducing the costs associated with solar energy, the roadmap is set to democratise access to renewable energy, ensuring that every household and business can contribute to and benefit from the solar revolution.

The initiative to make solar energy more accessible and affordable comes at a critical time, as the UK and the world grapple with the dual challenges of climate change and energy security. The solar roadmap's emphasis on driving the installation of rooftop solar panels reflects a strategic shift towards decentralised energy production, reducing reliance on traditional energy sources and decreasing the nation's carbon footprint. This transition is not only environmentally significant but also economically beneficial, promising to reduce energy bills for consumers and create new opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

As the UK gears up to unveil the solar roadmap in 2024, the anticipation builds not only among industry experts but also among homeowners, businesses, and environmental advocates. This strategic plan is expected to act as a catalyst for innovation, spurring technological advancements and fostering collaboration across sectors to achieve its ambitious goals. The roadmap is more than a policy document; it is a declaration of the UK's commitment to leading the charge in the global transition to renewable energy, setting a precedent for others to follow.

The solar roadmap for 2024 represents a key milestone in the UK's renewable energy journey, marking a decisive step towards a more sustainable and efficient future. By focusing on making solar energy more accessible and affordable, the roadmap lays the groundwork for a solar-powered revolution, ensuring that the benefits of renewable energy are shared by all. As we look towards the future, the solar roadmap offers a beacon of hope, illuminating the path towards a brighter, greener planet for generations to come.

Final Thoughts

As we navigate through the transformative landscape of renewable energy trends in 2024, from policy shifts enhancing solar panel adoption to technological breakthroughs and the ambitious solar roadmap set to redefine the UK's energy future, the journey towards a sustainable tomorrow is both exciting and imperative.

In this era of change, Energian stands as your reliable partner, dedicated to powering tomorrow with innovative solutions and expert guidance. With our commitment to sustainability and excellence, we are here to ensure that harnessing the power of renewable energy is accessible and efficient for everyone, lighting the way to a greener, more sustainable future.

March 10, 2024 — Nik Rusakov