Solar PV hits 12 gigawatts, further 3 gigawatts in planning


UK solar photovoltaic (PV) generation capacity has topped 12 gigawatts (GW), latest government figures confirm. There is also more than 3GW in planning, most of it consented.

For the year to April 2017, PV capacity increased 7% (792MW) with the lion’s share (56%) via small scale installations (no larger than 4kW).

To date, 47% or 5.7GW of total installed PV capacity comes from large (5MW+) installations. Small scale installations make up 21% of the total, around 2.5GW.

According to most recent data, there is more than 3GW of solar PV in the planning system. Some 2.5GW is awaiting construction, 334MW is under construction with 294MW at pre-consent stage.

The Renewable Energy Planning Database only includes projects greater than 1MW, so incoming PV volume could be significantly higher if smaller scale installations continue to drive market growth.

National Grid anticipates an average of 150MW per month additional PV generation to come on stream over 2017 and the system operator is having to work harder to balance the system over summer as a result.

Meanwhile, solar PV generation set a new high last week, hitting 8.7GW on Friday 26th May, according to National Grid data. That topped the previous PV record of 8.48 GW on 10th May 2017.

Further records are anticipated to fall over the summer.

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