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UK manufacturing showing record demand for solar

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Solarsense, a company specialising in installing solar systems, has reported that UK manufacturers are taking an unprecedented interest in solar power, with commercial inquiries up by 400% last year.

High-energy costs are leading manufacturing businesses to consider onsite solar generation as a means to ensure energy security. Prior to the UK Government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme, which is due to end on March 31, businesses were paying 45-65p per kWh. In contrast, when accounting for the capital investment and 20 years of generation, solar energy can cost just 4p per kWh. While Solarsense says that interest has increased across a range of sectors, the starkest increase has been from engineering and manufacturing firms.

Stephen Barrett, the managing director of Solarsense, said that the current level of interest had not been seen before in the company’s 25-year history, adding:

“The efficiency of solar panels has dramatically improved in the last few years and when combined with the huge reduction in installation costs and increase in energy prices, the financial returns are extremely attractive. We are now seeing payback periods for the technology as low as between 2-5 years…”

He compared this to an estimated payback period of around a century when the company first started.

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