Commercial-scale solar PV projects are generating an estimated £13.5million worth of electricity a year according to new research published by SmartestEnergy.
Research carried out by the independent energy company revelaed that there were 528 commercial-scale independent solar projects of over 50kQ operating in the UK at the end of 2012, accounting for 322MW of capacity.
Installations owned by renewable energy developers account for 59% of the total energy being generated by the sector with 13% coming from onsite generators and landowners alike. Agricultural installtions account for a further 7%.
In terms of location, the South of England continues to dominate with 128 projects located in the South West and 113 in the South East of England.
Commenting on the results of the research, SmartestEnergy’s head of generation, Iain Robertson said: “Rising energy prices and the introduction of financial subsidy schemes such as the Feed-in Tariff have sparked huge interest in the development of independent renewable generation projects in recent years.
“For businesses, farms and organisations faced with steep rises in energy costs, investing in their own renewable energy projects can generate significant savings and help them remain competitive. The combined strength of a large number of these projects will also play an increasingly important role in helping the country meet its climate change targets in the years ahead.”
SmartestEnergy expects the capacity figure to rise significantly in the months ahead following the dramatic renaissance in the market after increased module price reductions made larger-scale schemes more viable in the UK.
A full breakdown of independent renewable energy projects will soon be published by SmartestEnergy as part of its Energy Entrepreneurs 2013 report.