Published on May 19th, 2014 | by James Ayre2
UK Will Be Largest Solar PV Market In Europe In 2014, According To New Report — Over 120 Large-Scale Projects Approved For Construction
May 19th, 2014 by James Ayre
The UK will very likely be the biggest solar photovoltaic market in Europe in 2014, according to the new NPD Solarbuzz UK Deal Tracker report.
The dominance will be largely fueled by big growth in ground-mounted solar PV projects this year — over 120 large-scale solar PV projects in the region have been approved, many of which will be completed before the end of the year.
“In the past six months, the Department of Energy and Climate Change released the United Kingdom’s ‘Solar PV Roadmap’ and ‘Solar PV Strategy’ reports, restating aspirations to hit 20 GW of cumulative capacity by 2020,” stated Finlay Colville, vice-president at NPD Solarbuzz. “While reaching the long-term goal is expected to involve a blend of rooftop and ground-mounted systems, solar PV farms above 10 MW will provide the dominant contribution in 2014.”
To explain how rapid the growth is, consider this — to date, over 325 solar PV projects in the MW class have been completed in the UK; of these, more than 60 possess an installed capacity of over 10 MW. Now, consider the fact that over 444 large-scale, ground-mounted solar PV projects are currently at various stages of development. Brings the point home, doesn’t it?
Of these 444 pending projects, 124 have already been approved and will be aiming to complete installation “before the level of support under the Renewable Obligation scheme is reduced in April 2015.”
“With the UK projected to be the largest solar PV market in Europe in 2014, global component suppliers and project developers need to quickly understand the dynamics of the UK solar PV industry,” noted Colville. “Aligning with suitable partners and choosing the most attractive PV projects in the pipeline will ultimately determine the winners and losers over the next 12 months.”
NPD Solarbuzz makes some observations on the growth of investments into completed projects:
In addition to the opportunities arising from the multi-gigawatt pipeline of projects yet to be built, a thriving secondary market has developed for completed solar PV farms. Based on recent acquisitions of completed solar farms, the UK’s existing solar farm portfolio is valued at approximately £2.5 billion ($4.2 billion).
“Establishing a large portfolio of solar PV assets has become an attractive long-term financial proposition within the United Kingdom,” stated Colville. “The race is now on to develop and acquire solar PV farms, before the Renewable Obligations scheme is discontinued in 2017, or ahead of any legislative changes that may occur after the May 2015 general elections.”
In related news, SunEdison just recently finished construction on a 117 MW portfolio of utility-scale photovoltaic solar power plants in the UK. The capacity — spread out amongst eight different power plants — represents a pretty big boost to the country’s solar capacity, as well as being the company’s first completed development in the UK market.
SunEdison also just recently completed a deal with Statkraft that will see the energy from an 88 MW portfolio of six utility-scale photovoltaic solar power plants, currently under construction in the UK, purchased by Statkraft under a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA).
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