- The UK installed 175 MW solar PV capacity in Q1/2021 comprising 70% of ground mounted systems
- Rooftop solar PV capacity grew 14% on annual basis during the quarter, while 660 MW of new capacity was installed in 12-month period ending March 2021
- In 2021, the country may install a total of 1 GW capacity, according to Solar Energy UK
At the end of March 2021, total installed solar PV capacity of UK exceeded 14 GW with 175 MW coming up during Q1/2021, according to the country’s trade body Solar Energy UK, previously called Solar Trade Association. The Q1/2021 installations are a decline from previous 2 quarters both of which added more than 200 MW, its figures show.
Ground mounted solar installations make up the bulk of the new capacity installed in Q1/2021 accounting for 70% of the new capacity, while rooftop solar PV capacity grew 14% YoY in the reporting quarter. According to the trade body, 660 MW of new capacity was installed in the country in the 12-month period ending March 2021.
Altogether, UK’s subsidy-free solar power capacity now exceeds 1 GW, representing 7.3% of the total installed capacity.
“The growing pipeline of subsidy-free projects reflects the confidence investors have in solar technology, and the UK can look forward to solar delivering an increasing amount of clean, affordable power,” said Solar Energy UK Chief Executive Chris Hewett.
The association believes the country could exit 2021 with 1 GW of new solar capacity installed expecting annual solar deployments to increase spurred by declining costs for solar globally. It claims the government has awarded close to £140 million ($193 million) funding to PV projects under the government’s Public Sector Decarbonization Scheme which could lead to around 160 MW PV deployment on public sector buildings alone in 2021. Residential solar deployments may grow too in keeping with local laws.
At the end of 2019, the UK had a total installed capacity of 13.35 GW with the addition of 233.4 MW in 2019, according to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) (see UK Installed 233.4 MW Solar PV Capacity In 2019). In 2020, the association said the country added 545 MW PV.