UK solar installation figures revealed

Electricity and gas regulator for Great Britain, Ofgem, has officially released figures for the amount of solar photovoltaic installations in the UK since the feed-in tariff was introduced. The figures show that PV has significantly overtaken any other renewable energy source in the past four months, hitting a total of 11.266MW since April 1st.

The data made public runs from the first day of the feed-in tariff (FiT) introduction, April 1, to July 31, 2010. The total figure for solar PV installations for this period was 4,457, 4,429 of which were domestic, six commercial, and one community. This outlines the dominance of the domestic sector for this period.

The growth of the UK photovoltaic market is also clearly outlined by Ofgem’s figures. From April 1 total PV installations were 409 (0.979MW), for the same period in May they reached 942 (2.290MW), in June 1,406 (3.524MW) and by July the figures had climbed to 1,753 (4.592MW).

The lion’s share of the installations and thus megawatt figures from the period April 1 – July 31 were of course residential, yet this is something that is liable to change in the next few months. Research analysts, iSuppli said just last week that the UK is the fastest growing market for solar, projecting 96MW of installations by the end of 2010. This figure may seem far-fetched in comparison to current growth patterns, which point towards Sharp’s more conservative, yet reflective predication of 43MW by the end of April 2011. However, if we expect that more large-scale, utility installations will be added into the mix over the coming months, as well as assuming that the supply issues concerning the UK PV market will improve, then iSuppli may not be far off the mark.

Represented in the pie chart (below) are the regional figures for installations. This data shows how these installations are divided up over the country. You can see by representing the figures in this way, that (unsurprisingly) the installation amounts are higher in the south than the north. This is due to the solar irradiation levels being higher, but also due to the amount of available installation space. You can also see the effect of solar promotions, such as that offered by ‘A Shade Greener,’ as the share of the pie in the Yorks and Humber region is much higher than would be ordinarily expected.

Here at the Solar Power Portal we will be keeping an eye on the rate of installation growth as the year progresses, and will keep you up to date on the end of year predications.