When it comes to small-scale renewable energy installations, there’s nowhere quite like Cornwall. According to data from MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme), Cornwall has nearly 38,000 MCS-certified renewable installations – more than any other local authority in the UK. This means that more than 15% of Cornish households have an MCS-certified renewable installation, such as solar panels, heat pumps, and battery storage.

Solar panels are the most popular renewable technology in the area, with over 27,300 MCS-certified solar PV installations recorded since 2008. In fact, solar panels account for 72% of all MCS-certified renewable installations there.

This trend has continued in 2024, with 65% of all MCS-certified renewable installations so far this year being solar panels. This reflects the strength of the domestic solar PV market, driven by increasing demand from homeowners to generate their own electricity, lower their energy bills, and decrease their carbon footprint.

Heat pumps are also growing in popularity, with 2023 being the best year on record for heat pumps in the region, as well as the first year to surpass 1,500 MCS-certified heat pump installations.

In the first four months of 2024, Cornwall installers have set up a monthly average of nearly 150 certified heat pumps, putting the local authority on track for yet another record-breaking year for this technology.

Of the 663 MCS-certified heat pumps installed in Cornwall so far this year, over 600 are air source heat pumps.

Ian Rippin, CEO of MCS, said: “As Cornwall is one of the sunniest spots in the UK, it's no surprise that more homeowners in Cornwall are investing in solar panels to power their homes with free energy from the sun.”

“But it’s also great to see how the grants and incentives available, like the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, continue to play a key role in helping homeowners make the switch to low-carbon heating more accessible and affordable. I look forward to seeing heat pump installations continue to rise both in Cornwall and across the UK.”