Earlier today DECC released its monthly stats for PV deployment in the UK. DECC is sizing the market as of 30 June 2015 at 7.75GW, and is putting Q2’15 deployment at approximately 200MW. Expect to see Solar Media’s Q2’15 figure coming out in the next 24 hours on Solar Power Portal.
But the big takeaway is the revision upward from DECC regarding Q1’15 deployment, an issue we have been reporting on at Solar Media in the past couple of months. Recall, at the end of April DECC sized Q1’15 at 614MW, and increased this each month, getting to 1.94GW last month. Today, at the end of July 2015, DECC has now increased further the figure to 2.3GW.
Here is the relevant extract from DECC’s release today – just subtract end-December 2014 from the new end-March 2015 number to get 2.3GW.
Figure 1: The latest data from DECC released on 30 July 2015, showing cumulative monthly solar PV installed in the UK. Source: DECC.
As a result, we have updated our DECC-progress-checker graph, referencing it to Solar Media’s previous announcement that PV deployment in the UK reached 2.53GW.
Figure 2: Comparing DECC’s progress in sizing Q1’15 (blue bars), to Solar Media’s previous analysis showing Q1’15 to be 2.53GW.
DECC is not the only organisation to get Q1’15 deployment on the low side, and to be constantly updating figures in a somewhat catch-up mode. Various other parties came out with claims of the UK being well below 2GW even, in the past few months. It is likely they will be backtracking again and revising up previous figures.
Behind the issues on stats, it begs the question: why does it even matter? Well, it’s a massive deal to the National Grid how much new PV is feeding into the grid in summer 2015. It is also relevant in the scope of DECC’s current proposal to curb Renewable Obligation deployment.
For years, the UK solar industry has been begging for more accurate data to be available, especially if these are to be used as the basis for policy changes that may have a detrimental effect on company business operations and long term planning.
To many, the fact that four months has passed, and the Q1’15 number has still to reach the 2.5GW figure, will continue to raise question marks on the government’s ability to keep up to speed with an industry that is potentially now facing its worst crisis point ever. And it will also add fuel to the current debate about just what numbers are being used in terms of long-term planning and subsidy level ramifications.