NewEnergyNews: UK SUN GETS BIG

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    Friday, June 07, 2013

    UK SUN GETS BIG

    UK Solar PV Demand Reached 520 MW in Q1'13; Rush to build large-scale ground-mount projects to qualify for 2-ROCs incentive rate pushes cumulative UK demand to 2.5 GW

    Finlay Colville, June 4, 2013 (SolarBuzz)

    “Demand for solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in the United Kingdom (UK) grew significantly to reach 520 MW in the first quarter of 2013, driven by a strong push from large-scale ground-mount PV projects…Cumulative PV demand in the UK has now exceeded 2.5 GW, with 93% of this demand having being realized in the past two years, according to [NPD Solarbuzz]…

    “The UK PV industry is currently benefiting from a stable funding mechanism for both residential and non-residential segments through solar-specific FIT and ROC incentives, with known degression criteria and timeline…By the end of Q1’13, the share of large-scale projects had increased significantly to account for 25% of cumulative PV demand in the UK, with ground-mount PV installations providing over 50% of UK PV demand in the 12-month period ending 31 March 2013…”

    “[T]he 34 MW Wymeswold installation in Leicestershire in Q1’13 [is] now the largest PV site in the UK…The large building-mount segment is also seeing increased attention…During Q1’13 alone, more than 30 large-scale PV solar farms in excess of 5 MW were constructed in the UK, with the Southwest region accounting for over 50%...Currently, there are more than 35 large-scale PV projects in excess of 10 MW at the planning stages across various local councils in the UK with a cumulative PV pipeline in excess of 550 MW…

    “…While the well-defined incentive mechanisms under FIT and ROC are offering confidence to the downstream PV channels in the UK, there are currently several risk factors…over the next 12-18 months. These include the EU/China trade case, the pending government energy market reform within the UK and the exact details to be included in the forthcoming UK Solar PV Strategy document…[but] Q1’13 was a record quarter for UK PV demand and the first time the UK has exceeded 0.5 GW of PV demand in a single 3-month period…”

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