The United Kingdom nearly doubled their solar power last year, with 650,000 installations on private homes and state-owned properties. This brings the UK’s solar power capacity to five gigawatts (5GW), compared to just 2.8GW at the end of 2013. Boosting Britain’s capacity is part of a larger effort to make solar power an integral part of the nation’s energy supply.

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Solar power capacity, or “solar photovoltaic capacity” as industry engineers call it, has increased enough in the UK since 2013 to supply energy to a total of 1.5 million homes. The increased solar power processing ability also means new jobs. With the “right support,” according to Paul Barwell, chief executive of the UK-based Solar Trade Association, the solar power industry in Britain could open up as many as 50,000 new positions by 2030.

Related: Could the entire world really run on solar power?

In 2014, nations all over the world made huge strides to increase clean energy production. As wind and solar power costs are beginning to compete with the price of oil and gas, more countries are realizing the importance in investing in alternative energy. Britain is hoping to produce as much as 30-40 percent of the country’s needed energy on sunny days.

Solar power’s popularity has skyrocketed in recent decades, both in the city and in remote countrysides. Some nations are even striving for 100 percent solar power. The rising demand for solar energy is due in part to its lower cost, but it also has a lot to do with efficiency. Each year, nations around the globe install more solar panels on commercial properties, homes, schools, and utility buildings, because solar is a low-cost source of clean, renewable energy that provides near total independence from other countries.

Via The Guardian

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