UK home solar panel installation numbers soar

Posted at July 7, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on UK home solar panel installation numbers soar

UK installations of domestic solar photovoltaic and other renewable power systems soared to their highest level since the start of the government’s feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme.

According to the latest figures from energy regulator Ofgem, more than 248,000 microgeneration installations have been registered under the scheme since it began in April 2010 with a total capacity of over 1 GW (1090 MW).

Ofgem’s quarterly newsletter reveals that despite– or perhaps in a rush to meet – the government’s deadline for the cut in FIT rate from 43.3p to 21p per kWh at the beginning of March, more than 40% – or around 100,000 – were registered in the first three months of this year.

The rate of installations has picked up markedly over the past six months as the furore over the government’s attempt to cut the FIT rate has raged, culminating in the largest quarterly increase in the scheme’s history.

Ofgem’s figures also reveal that solar photovoltaics make up 99% of all new installations, with only 330 wind development and 26 hydro schemes registered between January and March this year. Solar photovoltaics now account for some 92% of installed capacity overall.

There are now a total of over 2400 wind installations under the scheme, 350 micro-combined heat and power installations and still just 16 anaerobic digestion developments.

FIT payments of nearly £47 million were made for the first quarter of this year, up almost £11 million on the previous figure.

While the government, no doubt, will see the figures as a vindication of the decision to cut FIT rates, the industry is still warning of a collapse in the market as further cuts to the rate are implemented.

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Related stories:
UK government promises ‘certainty’ with fresh solar FIT cuts in August (25-May)
UK government to delay further cut to solar feed-in tariff (22-May)
UK solar sales slump in wake of feed-in tariff cut (4-May)

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