Demand for solar PV in the U.K. fell by 46% in the second quarter of this year, according to the latest market research by NPD Solarbuzz.
The solar market analyst's findings cover the AprilJune period, which immediately followed the cut in Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) incentives that was implemented on April 1.
The NPD Solarbuzz report reveals that 106 new ground-mounted solar PV installations with an excess of 1 MW capacity were installed in the first six months of the year.
Of those, 60 solar PV parks have installed capacity in excess of 5 MW, while eight claim a capacity of 10 MW and above. During the first six months of the year the U.K. also saw the completion of its largest solar PV park to date: a 34 MW project from Lark Energy, located at the former RAF Wymeswold Airfield in Leicestershire.
From January to March, Scotland also saw the completion of its largest ground-mounted PV park at the former Jewel & Esk College in Dalkeith.
However, it is in the southern regions of England where the domination of the U.K. solar PV market continues. In the first half of the year, southern England accounted for 67% of all large-scale MW installations, finds NPD Solarbuzz, with the mid-eastern regions (East Midlands and East Anglia) accounting for 27%.
Cumulatively, the picture for PV power in the U.K. looks robust. At the end of the first half of this year, total solar PV installations stood at 2.71 GW, comprised from 50% residential, 22% non-residential roof-mounted installations, and 28% ground-mounted installations.
NPD Solarbuzz also reports that there is in excess of an additional 1.5 GW ground-mounted capacity currently in the planning stages, having either gone through successful project planning applications or awaiting financial go-ahead.
"The slowdown in the ground-mount segment in Q2 was also affected by the availability of Chinese modules coming into Europe, prior to the European Commission ruling at the start of August," said Finlay Colville, NPD Solarbuzz vice president. "However, the strength of the ground-mount pipeline will ensure that the U.K. retains a healthy top-10 market ranking for 2013 and beyond."
Total solar PV demand in the U.K. remains on an upward trajectory. In the first quarter it was confirmed at 520 MW, rising to 802 MW for the first six months of the year. Year-to-date demand has reached GW level, confirming the U.K. as a GW-status country for the first time in its history.