- Solar Energy UK says in H1/2022, the country installed 556 MW of new PV capacity
- It was led by residential rooftop segment with 164 MW added, compared to 153 MW it brought up in all of 2021
- The association sees high energy prices and the need to secure stable and affordable clean energy as having made solar an attractive option
The UK solar market installed 556 MW of new PV capacity during H1/2022, led by residential installations and spurred by European energy crisis, taking the country’s total installed solar to now over 15 GW, according to local trade association Solar Energy UK.
Residential solar installations during the period were 164 MW with 95 MW added in Q2/2022, vis-à-vis 36 MW in Q2/2021. In comparison, in 2021 this segment brought online 153 MW. The association believes this reflects ‘public enthusiasm’ for reliable, inexpensive and decarbonizing solar power that also helps them deal with high electricity bills.
For commercial solar, Q2/2022 brought up 97 MW and YTD additions since January 2022 were a total of 192 MW. As for ground mounted solar, capacity installation was 140 MW during Q2/2022.
“Rooftop solar power is as good an investment as it has ever been. The broader fossil-fueled price crisis means that this is true even though rooftop Solar’s ten-year price decline appears to have halted,” said Solar Energy UKK Chief Executive Chris Hewett.
As demand for solar grows across segments and energy prices shoot up, irrespective of supply chain pressures the technology has become an ‘increasingly attractive investment’. However there has been a rise in prices for solar systems which the association blames on inflation. For instance, a domestic installation of 2 kW to 5 kW cost £1,510 per kW in 2021, and now it costs about £1,684 per kW.
“But as the cost of power from the grid has increased by around half since last year, the relative benefit of going solar has only increased,” defends the association.
With half a GW already installed in 1st half of 2022, the association sees the UK market exceeding the last highest annual of 1 GW that was achieved way back in 2016. In 2021, the country added 730 MW new solar capacity (see UK Installed 730 MW New Solar In 2021).
According to a government survey conducted in June 2022 by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), UK denizens are happy seeing large scale, ground mounted solar facilities being built in their area. It also found solar’s popularity surpassing that of nuclear, shale gas and experimental fusion technologies.