After a fairly disappointing month of solar installations in October, the latest figures from Ofgem show that November has brought the total back up to over 6MW of systems. 

During the period 1-30 November there were 2,194 domestic installations (5.718MW), 27 commercial installations (0.264MW), no industrial installations and 47 (0.300MW) community installations, making a total of 2,268 (6.282MW)for the month. These figures are back up from the significant dip last month (1.693MW), which was most likely caused by the threatened cuts in the Spending Review, but back in line with the 2,339 (6.087MW) recorded in September.

If we assume that an average of 6MW can be achieved again at the end of December the UK could reach a possible total of 50MW by the end of the year. This figure points towards the success of the feed-in tariff (FiT), which has boosted solar power into becoming the most installed form of renewable energy in the country. For the period April 1 to November 30, the total installed capacity of solar was almost 40MW (39.241MW) while wind reached 13.021MW and hydro and micro CHP only managed 7.666MW and 0.014MW, respectively.

The pie chart below shows the regional distribution of installations across the UK, which have again remained in line with previous months. Yorkshire and the Humber again takes a healthy portion of the pie, almost certainly due to the free solar offer from A Shade Greener, which works in the region and has installed over 1,000 residential rooftop systems in the UK. We can also see that unsurprisingly the south of the country has installed more that the north, this is of course due to higher irradiation levels (there are more sun hours in the south of the country).

With the Government threatening to cut the feed-in tariff based on growth, it will be interesting to watch how the installation figures react as we move into 2011. However, the Department of Energy and Climate Change also needs to ensure it meets the legally-binding EU target of supplying 15% of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2020. Right now the Department doesn’t expect to reach its target of 10% renewable energy generation in the UK by the end of 2010. In fact, it doesn’t expect to meet the 10% target until 2012, from its starting position of 2.7% in 2000. For these reasons the Government will need to seriously consider any cuts it plans to make to solar power subsidy, as based on Ofgem figures, we are not likely to reach those targets with any other form of renewable energy.