Is solar an option with England’s cloudy skies?

By Josh Young, Greenscape Energy.
To many, generating solar power in England makes about as much sense as selling hot water bottles at the equator.
Published in UK Director Magazines Summer 2024

Energy: Josh Young, Greenscape Energy

It’s a common misconception that our cloudy weather doesn’t work well with solar technology, and one that we’ve been trying to change for over a decade.

For more than 12 years, Greenscape Energy has been educating consumers on the myths surrounding renewable energy in England. Remarks like “But it’s always cloudy here!” or “Isn’t it too expensive?” are commonplace. However, this only fuels our mission: to proclaim and demonstrate how solar energy is not only possible in the UK climate, but also cost-effective.

Solar advocacy

It surprises most people when they find out that solar panels can work efficiently even in typical British weather. Equipped with an army of resources – from informative campaigns to interactive demonstrations – we have been working hard to change this response, and we are proud of the results so far, even though we’ve still got a long way to go!

Our ultimate goal? To widen the options for everyday Brits when it comes to their energy choices, and to show them the ball is in their court. There are ways to generate energy so you can save some for a rainy day – or a power outage – and not be at the mercy of the grid. There are ways to detach from the typical price hikes of major energy suppliers and offset costs with your own supply. It’s all a matter of education, and that has been our primary focus.

Thinking differently

Part of our fight has been centred around showing people how to use solar energy properly. Everyone comes in with the stereotype: solar panels suck up the sun and spin out cheap electricity as they do. When the sun goes away, the power does too.

That’s both right and wrong. They do generate electricity from the sun, but what most people don’t realise is how frequently they absorb more than you can use in the moment. That’s why backup batteries have been a key part of our strategy from the start – they have to be in a climate like ours.

We bring in battery storage to promote load shifting and allow customers to save the energy for when it is needed and useful, rather than depending on the weather. If you bottle the sun while it shines, you can cut power costs not only then but after it’s gone by saving what is left behind.

And that’s where people have the lightbulb moment.

A tenacious approach

Things haven’t always been smooth sailing for us. We knew we were in for an uphill battle from the beginning, but our tenacity and commitment to what we could offer kept us going. Now, we have found a way for anyone who owns a home to be able to save power for when they need it most.

It’s been hard to change minds, but the fact that we’ve installed more than 16,000 solar systems to date is all the validation we need that our strategy of consistent education keeps working.

Just like our solar panels.

Is solar an option with England’s cloudy skies? 1


Josh Young is a Director at Greenscape Energy.

T: 01473 727727
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