Posted by Andrew Marshall
Energy and climate change minister Greg Barker has highlighted the recent growth and development of the solar power sector.
Mr Barker commented on the market at this month's launch of the National Solar Centre in St Austell, Cornwall.
He described the opening as a milestone in the evolution of the industry, which has experienced significant expansion in the past two years and has also overcome a number of challenges.
Solar power has come out of this testing period "leaner, wiser and certainly larger", said Mr Barker.
Photovoltaic panel installations across the UK now have a total power capacity of 1.8GW, enough to provide energy for some 450,000 homes.
"Now, as we prepare to pass the 2GW threshold, we can rightly say that solar is coming of age," said the energy and climate change minister.
"It is reliable, accessible, increasingly affordable and totally scalable."
The solar PV market is an important part of the government's new Energy Bill, which aims to implement significant changes in the way power is generated in the UK up to 2020 and beyond.