The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has committed to work alongside the UK’s solar industry to improve the accuracy of its solar deployment statistics.
The department has been under fire in recent months for continuing to publish monthly deployment statistics, which the Solar Trade Association (STA) has denounced as being inaccurate and potentially damaging to the sector.
BEIS’ methodology for collating and publishing deployment figures hinges on now defunct subsidy schemes, such as the small-scale feed-in tariff, the STA claims, meaning that without a comprehensive overhaul the department’s statistics stand to be inaccurate.
As a result the STA has led calls for the department to stop publishing the data sets until recommendations from the government’s own Energy Data Taskforce, which include the introduction of a generation asset register, can be introduced.
BEIS currently publishes monthly installation data on the last Thursday of every month. This continued last month, prompting the STA to again call on the department to stop, stating that the current data set misses “significant portions of capacity” each month.
In a statement issued to Solar Power Portal late last week, a BEIS spokesperson said it would continue to work with the industry to rectify the issue.
“We are committed to transparency and providing accurate data, which is why we are clear that our statistics do not include all microgeneration. We continue to work with the industry with a view to changing this,” the spokesperson said.
The government’s track record with solar installation data has often been rocky. In the past, monthly installation statistics have failed to keep up with utility-scale solar farm deployment, an issue Finlay Colville, head of market research at Solar Media, has discussed at length.