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UK Large-Scale Solar PV Saw 600% Growth In 2013

A new blog post from NPD Solarbuzz’s Vice President, Finlay Colville, sourcing several NPD Solarbuzz analyses, has determined that UK large-scale solar PV installations grew by a whopping 600% during 2013, amounting to a record of 1.45 GW new solar PV capacity added through the 12 month period.

Over 90% of the installations were ground-mounted, helping the UK become one of only six countries that had or approached a GW-level large-scale solar market during 2013.


Large-Scale PV in 2013 by Country
Image Credit: NPD Solarbuzz Marketbuzz Report

While the UK only ranked sixth (out of that six), they were one of only four countries to rank in the top 10 for both small- and large-scale solar PV demand.

On top of that, the UK was one of only five countries to rank in both the small- and large-scale solar PV demand top 10’s for 2013, a development that, as Colville notes, “should be welcome news to DECC and UK trade associations in their quest to diversify the UK PV landscape.”

The UK ground-mount pipeline has similarly seen a health 2013, exceeding 5 GW — a figure which includes all projects that have not been completed, as well as projects that have been terminated. As Colville explains, the inclusion of ‘terminated’ projects in the overall rests on the fact that “history informs us from other countries that such sites are often bought by new parties, or resurrected in the future when circumstances/policies/infrastructures change.”


UK Large-Scale Ground-Mount Solar PV Pipeline, Total approx. 5 GW
Image Credit: NPD Solarbuzz Global Deal Tracker Report

Currently, a host of factors is helping to create an unofficial market cap,” concludes Colville. “Some are global (module supply availability), and some are UK specific (rate of success at the local council level, project developers bandwidth/financial-stability, grid capacity and access, etc.).”

Nevertheless, the PV industry is set to be relatively well shielded from major political disturbances over the next two years, allowing for the possibility that they could break the 2 GW barrier at some point in the near future. For, as Colville notes, “for those living in the UK it is hard to remember the last time the UK’s energy supply and long-term policies approached a position of stability that were completely risk free.”

The full post by Finlay Colville is available to read at NPD Solarbuzz

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