United Kingdom – UK has installed 175 MW of photovoltaic (PV) solar capacity from January to March 2021, Solar Energy UK and Solar Media report shows.
This significant growth over the winter period brings the UK’s total installed PV capacity to more than 14 GW, generating enough electricity to power over 3 million homes.
Ground-mounted solar parks form 70% of the new capacity, while post-subsidy rooftop markets also continue to thrive. Rooftop solar capacity has seen 14% year-on-year growth.
On a rolling basis, 660 MW of new capacity was installed in the 12-month period to 31 March 2021, and the UK could be on track to deliver a gigawatt of new solar capacity this year.
lacing the last 12 months’ deployment in context demonstrates the impact of the Spring 2020 lockdown, as well as that of the end of the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme in 2019. This prompted a rush to install projects in time to meet the subsidy deadline.
However, market confidence in solar is clear: in total, 975 MW of PV have been installed in the UK since the end of March 2019, when the FiT ended, and installations rose rapidly after the end of the lockdown.
Future increase in capacity
Annual solar deployment levels are expected to increase over the next few years. Global solar costs continue to fall, while information obtained by Solar Energy UK under a freedom of information request shows that nearly £140 million of funding has been awarded to PV projects by the government’s Public Sector Decarbonization Scheme. This could see around 160 MW of PV installed on public sector buildings alone in 2021.
The Local Authority Delivery element of the Green Homes Grant scheme, as well as the recent change in building regulations relating to new homes, means there should also be significant deployment of solar on residential rooftops in the coming years.