The United Kingdom has surpassed the 3 GW mark in installed photovoltaic capacity, a figure it is expected to double this year.
The country reached 3,179 MW of solar across 551,939 installations at the end of April, according to recent statistics published by the U.K. Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC). The figure represents an increase (for both capacity and installations) of 1% from the end of March.
By the end of the year, however, the U.K. is expected to overtake Spain and France to become the third largest solar market in Europe with some 6.3 GW, behind Germany (currently at 35.7 GW) and Italy (17.2 MW).
Capacity accredited under the Renewables Obligation stood at 600 MW across 4,487 installations at the end of April, unchanged from the end of March.
Renewables Obligation capacity accounts for 19% of total solar deployment.
Capacity eligible for feed-in tariffs (FiTs) in the same period stood at 2,315 MW across 544,290 installations a 1% increase from March for both capacity and installations. Capacity from FiT installations represents 73% of the countrys total solar deployment.
Overall solar PV capacity in the first quarter rose 6.9%, or 189 MW, compared to the fourth quarter of 2013. The number of installations in the first quarter reached 542,817, up 6.7% from the previous quarter.
Meanwhile, capacity commissioned and accredited under the Renewables Obligation in the first three months of the year was up 3.5%, or 12 MW, to 483 MW. Renewable Obligation capacity represents 16% of the U.K.s total solar deployment.
At the end of 2013, the country had 2,752 MW of PV capacity — a year-on-year increase of 61%. Installations last year reached 508,322, up 26% from 2012.