UK solar growth slowing down noticeably, statistics confirm

UK solar growth slowing down noticeably, statistics confirm

After some very successful years, Britains solar growth is slowing down remarkbly, as statistics show. Various issues in the industry have caused 2018 to be the slowest year yet after 2009.


Currently the British solar network has a cumulative capacity of almost 13 GW, formed by almost one million power generators. However, this trend of growth and success appears to be changing in the recent months.

Various issues have caused a noticeable slowdown in the UK solar market this year – among them for example the exclusion of large-scale solar from the CfD scheme, but also the fact that the U.K. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) made no proposal for a post FIT framework.


Very low growth as compared to previous years

As a result of these issues, just 155 MW of new PV installations were added to the country‘s solar capacity between January and August this year. This is a growth rate of just about 20 MW per month and a very low result compared to last year, where during the same period, 865,7 MW of new installations were added. In the years before, this figure was even twice as high and more. Indeed, 2018 might see the lowest solar growth in the UK since 2009.


Utility-scale has largest share

According to BEIS, utility-scale installations make up the main group. “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,” they explained.

Out of this, PV plants over 25 MW in size make up about 1,5 GW, while mid-size installations between 5 MW and 25 MW make up roughly 4,3 GW. Smaller plants of 5 MW and less have a share of about 3,5 GW.


Small-scale installations are mainly of 4 kW or less

Within residential and commercial small-scale installations of under 5 MW, the largest share is made up of systems of 4 kW or less, with a share of about 2,5 GW. Larger installations between 10 kW and 50 kW make up 791 MW. The smallest group is formed by installations between 4 kW and 10 kW in size, which have a share of roughly 226 MW.