solar panels in a green field
April’s capacity figure has also been revised to 0.9GW. Image: One Earth Solar Farm

According to new statistics from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ), the UK surpassed 16GW of solar capacity in May 2024.

This represents a year-on-year increase of 1.2GW, with government organisations also confirming that the capacity total for April 2024 had been revised up to 0.9GW.

In May 2024, 16,333 installations were made, accounting for 69MW of capacity. This is the highest figure seen in 2024 thus far but lower than the volumes installed at the beginning of 2023.

These latest figures – while subject to future revision – remain significantly higher than the average figures observed between 2016 and 2021.

DESNZ added that 80% of new schemes were installed in residential buildings, totalling 53MW.

UK on course to install 1.5-2GW of solar in 2024

In a recent article penned by Josh Cornes, an analyst at Solar Power Portal’s publisher Solar Media, the UK solar market is forecast to grow by about 1.5-2GW in 2024, similar to levels seen in 2023, maintaining a steady upward growth trajectory since the government removed incentives for investments in the sector back in 2017. 

Final figures for 2023, compiled by the Solar Media Market Research team, put solar additions in the UK during 2023 at 1.9GWpdc, up almost 50% year-on-year compared to 2022.

The new Labour government is also expected to support solar, given its manifesto pledge to double onshore wind, triple solar power, and quadruple offshore wind. Given that support mechanisms may take time to implement, changes and increases in installed capacity may take time to come to fruition.