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The cumulative installed PV capacity in the UK has reached 15.9GW
Seetao 2024-06-05 11:04
  • With the UK general election approaching, experts are calling for a quick solution to the problems affecting the growth of photovoltaics
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According to data released by the UK's Department of Energy Security and Net Zero Emissions (DESNZ), the installed capacity of photovoltaic systems installed in the UK to date has reached 15.9GW.

The report points out that the UK PV market has been relatively slow in the early part of this year, with small PV systems installed accounting for the majority of new PV systems. With the UK general election looming, industry experts are calling on the next government to act quickly to address key issues affecting the growth of PV system installed capacity.

Figures released by the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero Emissions (DESNZ) on 30 May 2024 show that the UK added 190MW of PV systems in the first four months of this year, a significant drop from the 330MW added in the same period in 2023. The UK installed 916MW of photovoltaic systems in 2023. In terms of new installed capacity, 2023 is only the fifth highest year on record for installed PV systems in the UK, although the number of new PV systems added is the second highest, with 191,524 PV systems coming online. The report attributes this to the fact that small PV systems account for the majority of new PV systems.

The majority of new PV system capacity installed in the UK in the first four months of 2024 came from small PV systems. Of the 190MW installed capacity, the total installed capacity of small PV systems with an installed capacity of 4kW or less is 84MW. The installed capacity of the 4kW to 10kW photovoltaic system is 69MW, while the installed capacity of the 10kW to 50kW photovoltaic system is added by 37MW. Compared with 2023, the data for the first four months of 2024 did not include photovoltaic systems above 50kW. Data from the Cloud Year shows that 98MW of PV systems of 500kW and above will be installed in the UK in 2023, with 76MW added to utility-scale PV systems of 25MW and above.

At the end of March 2024, ground-installed PV systems accounted for 49%(7.7GW) of the total installed PV system capacity in the UK, including two PV plants operating through Contract for Difference (CfD) certification.

CFDS can play a key role in supporting the installation of PV systems in the UK. In the UK's fifth CFD auction, held in September 2023, 56 PV systems with a total installed capacity of nearly 2GW were tendered. The country's sixth CFD auction closed applications on April 19, 2024, and Grid operator National Grid ESO expects to announce the results of the auction to applicants between late June and early September. The auction includes 120 million pounds ($152,535) of "proven technologies," including up to 5MW of photovoltaic systems, as well as onshore wind and other related technologies.

Mark Sommerfeld, deputy director of policy at the UK Renewable Energy and Clean Technology Association (REA), said the latest deployment figures show that the UK has fallen behind in meeting its target for installing PV systems, with the country setting a target of 70GW by 2035. He said: "With about 16GW of PV systems currently installed, it is clear that a step change is needed. Achieving this goal requires accelerating the installation of PV systems, making full use of the appropriate locations for installing rooftop PV systems and ground-mounted PV systems. It is encouraging that the market for small PV systems is promising, however, accelerating the installation of PV systems also means installing more large utility PV plants. The good news is that the industry already has a large number of PV projects ready to go." Editor/Xu Shengpeng


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