Tom Baker Interview on the benefits of switching to Solar



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Did you know that the global market for solar power is projected to be worth over $373 billion by the end of this decade? There are a lot of reasons that the demand for solar power is growing so rapidly.

Solar power has experienced a surge in popularity, surpassing previous expectations. Advancements in technology have significantly reduced the cost of solar panels, making them more accessible to homeowners and businesses alike. Government incentives and subsidies further incentivize adoption. We wrote an article about some of the compromises the government reached on solar subsidies.

Growing environmental awareness and concerns about climate change have also driven demand for clean energy alternatives. As a result, solar power is now recognized as a mainstream and viable solution for reducing carbon emissions and transitioning towards a sustainable energy future. There are also a lot of benefits of using solar power at home.

Tom Baker, co-founder of the solar start-up Solar Mate, discusses the benefits of switching to solar. Solar Mate was founded in 2023 and is on a mission to help the UK become more energy self-sufficient. Not only do they aim to help households reduce their energy bills, but also decrease their carbon footprint. 

Why did you decide to start a company in the renewables sector? 

It’s no secret that we must take action to limit the effects of global warming. With the UK pledging to net zero by 2050, we need to make dramatic changes to our lifestyle to cut the amount of greenhouse gas emissions we produce. In the UK, the energy sector is the second largest contributor to emissions, at 16% of total UK GHG emissions. This alone presents itself with a massive opportunity for us to push towards more renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, hydroelectric and bioenergy. 

Although offshore and onshore wind makes up the biggest source of renewable energy in the UK, it’s not a tangible option for residential homeowners. Solar power on the other hand has made tremendous strides forward over the last decade. Improvements in technology have enabled residential homeowners the possibility of purchasing solar panels for a far more cost-effective price than before, as well as, improved efficiency enabling homes to create more electricity – in turn, reducing their energy bills.

Less than 5% of homes are harnessing solar 

In the UK, only around 1.3 million UK homes have solar panels installed and only 2 million in the US. With the price of electricity having soared over the last 18 months, we’re now seeing a dramatic increase in the number of installations. 

With a typical 4kWh system, suitable for a 3 bedroom home now costing in the region of £8,000, residents are now able to save up to 70% on their energy bill and breaking even in around 8 – 10 years; a tremendous improvement from 5 years prior. 

There are also many government grants through the Green Deal initiative, designed to help you make energy-saving improvements to your home. People may also be eligible for the ECO4 scheme which can help residents save thousands of pounds on energy enhancements such as solar panels. 

Businesses still need to do more, says Tom Baker 

Although homeowners across the country can help us strive to become a more energy and environmentally-friendly nation, the effects of business operations on the environment have a dramatic contribution to climate change. A report conducted by the CDP stated that 100 companies are responsible for 71% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, highlighting just how much of an influence businesses can have on the environment. 

If we’re going to see real change, we need businesses to take action. Governments need to offer greater incentives and spread more awareness about the benefits of using cleaner energy sources.


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