Official statistics confirm strong contraction of UK solar market


With a current growth rate of around 20 MW per month in the first eight months of this year, the United Kingdom is probably set to see its lowest solar growth since 2009.

Indeed, just 155 MW of new PV installations were added in the country in the first eight months of this year, according to the latest provisional statistics released by the U.K. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). For comparison, in the same period of 2017, new PV additions totaled 865.7 MW, while in the first eight months of 2016 and 2015, new capacity reached 1.95 GW and 3 GW, respectively.

This year’s slowdown is mainly due to the well-known issues in the British solar market such as, among others, the exclusion of large-scale solar from the CfD scheme and the lack of a proposal for a post FIT framework from BEIS.

“To date, 45% (5,833 MW) of total installed solar PV capacity comes from large scale installations greater than 5 MW, with 20% (2,574.8 MW) coming from small scale 0 to 4 kW installations,” said BEIS.

Of the cumulative capacity, 1.51 GW comes in the form of large-scale PV plants over 25 MW, while solar facilities between 5 MW and 25 MW account for another 4.51 GW. Installations ranging between 50 kW and 5 MW have reached a combined power of 3.49 GW.

As for residential and commercial PV, solar power systems up to 4 kW comprise the largest share, at around 2.57 GW of installed capacity, followed by PV arrays between 10 kW and 50 kW (791 MW), and PV systems between 4 kW and 10 kW (226 MW).

Overall, 959,980 solar power generators with a combined cumulative capacity of 12,933.8 MW are currently connected to the grid in Great Britain.