UK SOLAR INDUSTRY HITS 10 GW SOLAR PV CAPACITY
UK’s total installation of solar capacity has passed the 10GW mark. This is according to the Solar Power portal. This development has come just a few days after SolarPower Europe the European industry body claimed that the UK will continue to be the largest solar market in Europe in 2016. This is after having topped the charts in the previous year and following a bumper 12 months of deployment in 2015.
UK passed the 10GW barrier after solar PV installed during the first six weeks of 2016 hit the 340MW mark. This added to the cumulative solar PV as at the end of 2015 of 9.66GW made the 10GW mark.
Earlier this month SolarPower Europe announced that the European solar market as a whole grew by 15% in 2015, this is through connection of 8 GW of new solar power to the grid, compared to 6.95 GW in 2014.
The drive towards the 10GW mark mostly came in 2015, when 3.9GW was added in twelve months, with 65% of it in Q1 alone.
Additions from 1.4 ROCs have dominated the UK’s solar capacity, with the peak in Q1’15 reaching 2.53GW. Source: Solar Media Ltd.
Below is a graph that shows the growth trajectory by quarter leading up to the 10GW milestone.
The attractive FiT rates created the first boom for both ground-mount and domestic installation in med 2011 leading to a strong distribution of solar in the UK.
The following factors drove the increase in the recent months.
- There has been a spike in the small rooftop installation due to drastic cuts to FiTs.
- The ability to share grid connections with community based projects and pre- accreditation of stand-alone ROO-FiTs driven by RO uncertainty from 22 July 2015.
- Build-out under 1.3 ROCs for 4.99MW ground-mount farms
- The closure on >5MW sites grandfathered under May 2014 policy changes.
The UK is going to be dominated by ground-mounted solar until 31 March 2016, with 1.3 ROCs expiring at this point.
The UK Solar Trade Association has also claimed that UK residential solar remains a god investment. “Let’s be clear; solar is still a good investment for householders and an essential investment for the planet,” said Paul Barwell, CEO of the Solar Trade Association. Costs have come down so fast solar is much more affordable today than five years ago – around half the price of a new car.
There has never been a greater need to go solar because acting on climate change is more urgent than ever. Solar will save on your energy bills, and potentially add value to your home.”