The dramatic increase in solar PV generation in the UK is forcing traditional power companies and the National Grid to evaluate their practices and adapt to new challenges, according to energy data company EnAppSys.

The company says that the rise in renewable generation and, in particular, the unpredicted explosion in UK solar has “serious implications for traditional fossil fuel generators and the National Grid's ability to manage supply side issues”.

According to EnAppSys, overall renewable energy generation in May accounted for 23% of the UK's total energy generation. Taken in concert with an increased level of imported energy from the continent, fossil fuel's share of energy generation is falling: from 80% in January 2009 to less than 50% in May 2015.

Interestingly, the company estimates that solar PV accounted for 6% of total power output on both 23 and 30 May. Peak output levels reached 15% of half hourly generation and almost broke the 5GW milestone of power on 23 May.

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Paul Verrill, director of EnAppSys explained that the increasing levels of solar represents a “new scenario” which demands “a new approach from the traditional power generators and the National Grid”.

Verrill explained: “The National Grid now needs to quickly adapt to reduced generation from other power sources during the middle of the day, and the existing generators will have to adjust to a midday depression of energy prices, with the these prices now reducing close to the low prices experienced overnight.

“If solar capacity continues to grow, this will see a large depression in levels of demand for electricity generation from conventional power sources in the middle of the day and a challenge for National Grid to manage the system without the inherent ‘inertia’ provided by large thermal power stations.”

In order to illustrate just how big the discrepancy between the National Grid's predicted PV capacity figures and actual deployment, EnAppSys points to the National Grid's future Energy Scenarios report which only expects 6.5GW of solar by 2018/19 at the earliest and 2025/26 by the latest. By EnAppSys' estimates that's put the UK's solar output levels almost 10 years ahead of what the National Grid expected.