The rooftop solar PV sector has gone from strength to strength, with 90% of installs in Q3 in this segment.

There was a record amount of rooftop solar deployed in Q3, with 97MW installed on homes and businesses around the UK.

This constitutes more than 90% of the total solar PV deployed last quarter, according to new research figures from Solar Media and presented by Solar Energy UK, with 107MW installed overall.

Across Q2 and Q3 2021, 104MW of commercial rooftop solar was installed in what is a record for the industry.

“This summer’s rooftop deployment figures are a source of pride for the UK solar industry,” said Solar Energy UK chief executive Chris Hewett. “Home occupiers and businesses are racing to install rooftop solar projects, proven and reliable ways to cut carbon and costs. Solar Energy UK members are as busy as they have ever been, and there is more growth to come.” 

Image: Solar Media/SEUK.

Just 10MW of ground-mounted solar was built during the period, largely due to the current high prices of commodities impacting the construction of larger projects. Prices are expected to decline again going forwards however, and there has been a huge pre-build investment in utility-scale solar capacity, the companies noted. Currently, there is a total pipeline of more than 20GW of ground-mount solar.

“The overall market for the UK is likely to hit 600MW for the year, above 2020 deployment figures, but still short of the GW-levels expected at the start of the year,” said Finlay Colville, head of research at Solar Media.

“Utility-scale ground-mount projects will likely start being built again during 2022, but the timing remains contingent on Asian manufacturers seeing module costs decline back to 2019 levels. Going forward, GW-plus annual deployment – with strong rooftop and ground-mount contributions – remains on track out to 2030.”

Image: Solar Media/SEUK.

Despite the strong growth profile of solar in the UK however, Hewitt warned that barriers remain for rooftop solar deployments, including the lack of clear targets. This is particularly pertinent in the week the government released both its Net Zero Strategy and it’s Heat and Buildings Strategy, both of which were devoid of concreae targets for the technology.

“We call on the government to commit to setting a deployment target of 40GW by 2030,” added Hewett. “This would send a clear signal that the UK is open for business and attract investment and labour into the solar sector.”