Industry body the Solar Trade Association has called on the National Grid to revise its predictions for UK solar in the coming years, claiming they are too low.

In a ‘Future Energy Scenarios’ scoping document published yesterday, the grid operator predicted respectively 7.5 and 8.5GW of PV by 2020 under its two ‘green’ scenarios.

But the STA said today both these figures fell well short of other predictions for solar in the years ahead.

Chief executive Paul Barwell said: “It is frustrating that both the government and the National Grid are basing important decisions on out of date data. This undermines what the solar industry has achieved so far and risks holding back solar’s potential.”

The STA highlighted how the National Grid figures fell short of even the government’s own figure of 12GW by 2020, set out in solar strategy earlier this year.

It said also that National Grid’s assessment of current installation levels were wrong, putting the figure at 2.3GW, a figure the industry surpassed sometime early last year.

“The number of solar installations in place is higher than in official statistics,” said Barwell.

“The cost of solar has fallen dramatically. We forecast that solar will become cheap enough to compete without public subsidy by the end of the decade, but only if it has a stable policy framework. Using accurate data is an essential part of that.”

Barwell concluded: “Solar could one day in the future meet a third of UK electricity needs from south-facing roofs and facades alone. The National Grid needs to recognise solar’s huge potential to generate a sizeable chunk of the UK’s power.”