Statistics released today by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have revealed how serious the under-deployment of solar PV in the capital was last year.
Each year BEIS releases regional statistics for renewables deployment and this morning’s release, for the year ended 31 December 2016, revealed that of the UK’s estimated capacity at the time of ~12GW just 90.9MW was deployed within London’s borders.
And the issue was only clearer when charting London’s progress in recent years. The previous data set, for the year ended 31 December 2015, showed London’s deployed solar capacity to be 85.6MW, meaning that just 5.3MW of solar was deployed in the capital in 2016.
At 90.9MW, London is comfortably the UK’s laggard when it comes to solar PV adoption. The region with the second-lowest deployment is predictably the north east with 191MW, with the more densely-solared regions of the South East and South West benefitting from 1.5GW and 2.3GW respectively.
But while the capital’s solar deployment has continued to disappoint, plans are afoot to stimulate further activity.
Earlier this summer City Hall’s draft environment strategy included an ambitious solar strategy comprising community solar grants, reverse solar auctions within London boroughs and tenders for arrays to be installed on Transport for London property.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the measures would result in around 200MW of solar being installed on public buildings in the capital, more than double the current installed capacity.
However both the solar lobby and London’s own deputy mayor for energy and the environment Shirley Rodrigues have admitted that the capital’s solar strategy is not enough to stimulate solar development on its own, pointing towards a chronic lack of national policy covering the technology.