According to the latest Ofgem figures photovoltaics has dominated the feed-in tariff installations recorded to date in the UK. The recent ups and downs in the solar industry seem to have had little effect on the figures, with over 96% of the projects registered between January 1 and 31 March belonging to the PV category.

During the first FiT year, beginning April 1, 2010 and ending on March 31, 2011, the installation figures demonstrate a strong upward trend, with PV projects cropping up all over the country in various forms. The first quarter saw a total of 2,700 installations while Q2 recorded 7,827, Q3 6,698 and Q4 11,383, totalling more than 28,000.

These figures can be broken down into project type, with residential installations making up the majority with a total of 73MW for the period. In the first quarter, Ofgem recorded more than 6MW of residential installations but less than 1MW in the commercial, community and industrial categories. In Q2 the figures more than tripled, with 19.092MW residential projects registered and again, less than 1MW in the other groupings. Q3 saw over 16MW in the residential sector, 0.808MW in the commercial, 0.086MW for industrial 0.908MW in community. In the final quarter of this period, residential again came out on top with over 30MW recorded.

The regional breakdown of feed-in tariff installations, which can be seen in Ofgem’s figure below, outlines that photovoltaics dominate in the southern parts of the country, with the majority installed in the south east and south west. This can be put down to the higher irradiation levels in these regions.

Since this data was recorded Government has confirmed it will cut the photovoltaic feed-in tariff down to the rates it proposed back in March. The new tariffs (below) will go ahead from August 1, 2011 and will apply to all new market entrants.

>50kW – ≤ 150kW Total Installed Capacity (TIC) – 19.0p/kWh
>150kW – ≤ 250kW TIC – 15.0p/kWh
250kW – 5MW TIC and stand-alone installations – 8.5p/kWh

While the residential tariff remains unchanged by these cuts, it is likely that they could have a serious effect on the installation figures for the first quarter of the second FiT year. The consequences of Government’s cuts will be reported at the end of this month.