Solar PV generation reached almost 3.2TWh in Q2 2015 according to the latest figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) following a period of substantial growth in the sector.
The 3,191GWh generated between April and June was three times that of the previous quarter and shows generation has more than doubled when compared to 2014 Q2.
The figures also showed that solar PV almost reached parity with offshore wind generation during the period. Offshore wind supplied 3.5TWh in Q2, falling from generation in the previous quarters due to seasonality but staying broadly in line with generation recorded in the corresponding period from 2014.
Sonia Dunlop, spokesperson for the Solar Trade Association, said: “Solar PV generation is up by 114% in the second quarter of 2015 compared to the equivalent period last year – this shows that solar works in the UK, and that it can be deployed quickly to meet rising electricity demand. We are now a serious player.”
The latest dataset from DECC provides more evidence of the increased performance of the UK solar market, with the figures for Q2 showing generation for 2015 neared the total generation recorded in 2014 (4TWh).
Lauren Cook, policy analyst at the Renewable Energy Association, said: “It is great to see solar making such a large contribution to the energy mix in the UK. Solar is one of the few technologies which can be located directly where the electricity is used and will play an increasingly significant role in the UK’s energy mix as energy generation becomes increasingly decentralised.”
The 3.2TWh generated also represents over a third of the generation expected by DECC from solar PV by 2021, when the government expects there to be 9.55GW installed capacity. Its latest figures claim solar capacity to already stand at 8.2GW, however recent research from Solar Intelligence suggests the UK has already passed 9GW.
Finlay Colville, head of intelligence at Solar Intelligence, said: “Generation from solar is something that the National Grid and others are starting to see as having a very real impact. Given the fact that UK solar deployment will effectively have doubled to about 10GW at the start of 2016 from about 5GW just 12 months ago, being able to both model and measure solar contributions is becoming a key task.”
Colville has claimed DECC’s inability to keep track of the industry’s performance could have a negative impact on the development of future policy and further forecasts for capacity and generation.