A year of record PV demand has seen the amount of solar installed in the UK exceed 2GW, according to the upcoming NPD Solarbuzz Marketbuzz 2013 report. Demand in 2012 was even higher than the record levels that the UK witnessed in 2011. The report credits an attractive policy environment, declining system prices and a low-risk investment climate as the main drivers that enabled the market to ‘exceed all expectations’ by reaching 965MW.  

“The UK has now been a top-10 country for PV demand during both 2011 and 2012,” stated Finlay Coleville, Vice-President, NPD Solarbuzz.

“With demand trending at the GW-level and cumulative PV installs passing the 2GW mark, the UK can now officially be prioritized as a GW-size market by the global PV supply-chain.”

The strong performance of the UK market belies the difficulty period that the UK PV industry faced at the end of 2011 after damaging cuts to the feed-in tariff and a period of uncertainty. Solarbuzz reports that the UK solar industry is now benefitting from predictable feed-in tariff and Renewable Obligation regimes, which is being reflected in strong demand from noth residential and ground-mount segments.

Colville added: “Other European countries have struggled to provide sustainable long-term growth for PV suppliers and overall European PV demand is forecast to decline from a global share of 55% in 2012 to 34% by 2015. Moreover, the UK has been able to focus exclusively on managing installation levels, without being hampered by manufacturing setbacks that have dented the PV industries in Germany, France, Spain and Italy.”