There were more than 7,780 solar installs carried out under the feed-in tariff during January 2015, according to the latest figures published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

The numbers represent a 47% drop from December 2014 installation numbers. The pronounced drop in installs can be attributed the 3.5% degression that was enacted on 1 January 2015 to all tariff bands <50kW.

The <4kW tariff band continues to dominate installs under the feed-in tariff, representing 97% of all installs carried out in January 2015. In contrast, the larger end of the feed-in tariff market (50kW-5MW) has seen consistently low deployment, with 71 installs registered in January.

The figures come off the back of a quarter of growth for the residential solar sector, which saw 124MW of 0-10kW capacity installed in Q4, 2014 – triggering a deployment degression of 3.5% in April. This is the first time the residential sector has triggered a degression though growth in deployment since 2012.  

Commenting on the deployment figures, David Pickup, business analyst at the Solar Trade Association said: “We anticipated a drop in installations post tariff change in the 0-10kW and 10-50kW bands on the 1 January, as this is often one of the tougher months to install in due to weather. Deployment is similar to that last January, but we expect increased deployment in the next couple of months ahead of another degression at the end of March.

“Although larger rooftop deployment (50kW-5MW) is holding fairly steady, it’s not nearly enough but we are hearing of significant growth this year from our membership. It’s crucial that the government fixes the structural problems in the feed in tariff as part of the FiT review later this year by supporting our forthcoming Solar Independence Plan.”

Reza Shaybani, chairman of the BPVA, added: “The drop in the number of installations under the feed-in tariff in January is disappointing but not surprising considering the long holiday period and the weather conditions. Now we are approaching March, we should see an increase in deployment in the coming weeks. What is important for the industry is to continue informing the customers about the benefits of solar PV and various financial options available to them to have a solar installation.“ 

The full set of statistics can be viewed here.