UK’s solar sector rebounding from pandemic and subsidy closures

16th April 2021 | Commercial Energy

The figures were released this week in a new announcement from Solar Energy UK and Solar Media. According to these organisations, the UK’s total installed capacity is now 14GW – of which more than 1GW is classed as completely subsidy-free.

The organisations tracked a sharp decline in capacity additions in the second quarter of 2019, following the closure of the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) scheme. Additions then began to pick up in the latter half of 2019 but fell once again in early 2020, with Covid-19 affecting supply chains and investor priorities.

Solar sector

Installations were slightly lower in the first quarter of 2021 than in the last two quarters of 2020 but the report forecasts that they are likely to rise again in the coming months. It outlines how 1GW of new capacity could be installed across the UK this calendar year. A significant growth area is likely to be the public sector, as £140m of the Government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation fund is estimated to be earmarked for 160MW of rooftop solar on public sector buildings like town halls and hospitals.

Notably, the report breaks down the proportion of installations attributable to the domestic rooftop, private sector rooftop and ground-mounted sub-sectors. The latter took the lion’s share in Q3 2020, Q4 2020 and Q1 2021, with this trend likely to continue.

“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,” Solar Energy UK’s chief executive Chris Hewett said.

In related news, The Climate Group has announced that its RE100 scheme – designed to help businesses set targets to procure 100% renewable electricity – has reached 300 large business members. Recent sign-ups include Heineken and Epson.

More information available on the website below–rebounding-from-pandemic-and-subsidy-closures-/