Solar, Thermal and PV

Our sun is a nuclear reactor which emits energy in the form of photons to our planet every day.  We call this Solar Energy. There are various ways that Solar Energy can be harnessed but the two main ways within the UK are via Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panels and Solar Thermal Panels.

Interesting Facts

  • Solar PV systems use direct and indirect (diffuse) light to convert solar energy into usable electricity.
  • Solar Thermal uses solar energy to heat water / glycol via flat plate collectors or evacuated tube collectors.
  • The electricity or heat created is low carbon and fast becoming the most cost-effective form of creating energy
  • In 2020 the UK generated over 13,000 GWh of electricity from solar photovoltaics
  • China produces by far the most solar energy in the world, measured at 205 GW in 2019, according to the IEA’s Renewables 2020 report


  • Individuals or businesses can take advantage of their own energy costs by installing these systems.
  • Over the last five years, the costs have reduced dramatically and whilst subsidy initially has been available in the form of the FIT and RHI (Government incentives for installing these systems), the economic case for installing solar still stacks up.
  • The synergy between solar, batteries and EV Cars means that individuals and business can become self-sustaining when it comes to energy.


  • Access to the network can sometimes be difficult but that aside, with the reduction in cost of the systems, the financial benefits post subsidy are now much healthier.
  • Changes to subsidy
  • The ever-changing political landscape has produced, what is known as, the “solar roller coaster” but as the industry moves towards subsidy free solar, the outlook looks positive.

Get in touch

AREG is the original energy transition organisation, working on behalf of members to empower the energy supply chain and champion its expertise. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to find out more about membership.

AREG has played an important role in the growth of Scotland’s renewable energy sector, engaging the supply chain and developing the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. However, we are only at the very beginning of the transition that AREG was established to both lead and support so there are still opportunities for companies to get into the constantly evolving renewables supply chain. We look forward to continuing our work together as renewables builds on its place as Scotland’s main source of power, and as we seek to deliver real change in the crucial areas of heat and transport.

Scottish Renewables

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with AREG since its formation. The recent progress in the developments of offshore wind projects by Equinor and Vattenfall are as a result of the work of the group over many years. The north-east is known as the oil and gas capital of Europe. At the Chamber, we believe the region must evolve its position to being recognised as the energy capital. Whilst hydrocarbons will continue to be essential in driving our economy for years to come, the generation of renewable resources will play an increasingly important role in providing cost-effective power, innovative development and economic growth.

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce

The enthusiasm and dedication of the early group that would become AREG was fundamental in us choosing to launch All-Energy in Aberdeen. The first tiny show was held in 2001, and AREG’s Chairman at the time, Jeremy Cresswell, played such an active role that I often describe him in terms such as All-Energy’s ‘midwife’. All-Energy is now the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference in terms of number of attendees, space booked, and number of exhibiting companies. As AREG became firmly established, their presence and support for the event grew spectacularly over the years. We thank them most sincerely for their invaluable input.


Vattenfall has forged a strong working relationship with AREG through the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. AREG has worked tirelessly on behalf of the North East and it can take enormous credit for the growth of sustainable energy in the region and the path it has cleared for the region to capture further investment.


Aberdeen City and Shire is emerging as a key location for renewables by successfully transferring its world-class oil and gas expertise into the sector and AREG has done much to advance this through a broad range of initiatives. It has acted as a catalyst in driving further investment in the local economy by engaging with companies, Government, public bodies and existing projects and we have been pleased to support their efforts. Scottish Enterprise will continue to engage with AREG as we increase Scotland’s use of renewable energy.

Scottish Enterprise