The UK’s cumulative photovoltaic installed capacity reaches 15.6GW

According to statistics recently released by the UK Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ), as of the end of November 2023, the cumulative installed capacity of photovoltaic systems in the UK has reached 15.6GW.

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In the first 11 months of 2023, 871MW of new photovoltaic systems were installed in the UK. This is a significant increase compared to the 496.8MW installed in the same period in 2022 and the 323.9MW installed in the same period in 2021.

However, Gareth Simkins, spokesman for the British Photovoltaic Industry Association, said in an interview with industry media that the installed capacity of photovoltaic systems installed in the UK in 2023 is higher than the data of the British Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) and may exceed 1GW.

Simkins attributed the accelerated delivery of PV systems to a number of factors, including soaring energy prices due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. In addition, annual CFD auctions, falling PV module costs, continued liberalization of planning rules and decarbonisation efforts are also important factors.

The upward trajectory of the UK PV market looks set to continue after the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) tendered 56 renewable energy projects, including nearly 2GW of PV systems, in last September’s auction. This marks the first time that the installed capacity of the winning PV systems in a UK government auction exceeds that of wind power facilities. But concerns arise that a range of improvements must be implemented to ensure bids are linked to each other.

Simkins said that 190,000 small and medium-sized PV systems were installed in the UK last year, including rooftop PV systems with an installed capacity of less than 50kW, mainly for homes. In 2022, 138,000 will be installed.

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Simkins said: “The UK is now installing more and more photovoltaic installations on rooftops, and there are several large-scale 800MW photovoltaic power stations in the pipeline. We believe this will achieve the UK government’s goal of installing 70GW photovoltaic systems by 2035. “

He said that the Solar Taskforce, an alliance of photovoltaic industry stakeholders established by the British government in March 2023, will soon release its roadmap for a 70GW photovoltaic system in March 2024.

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