A new report from analytics company IHS has highlighted an “unprecedented solar PV boom” in the UK throughout the first quarter of 2015, with a combined capacity of 1.6 GW worth of solar PV installed.
According to the IHS UK Deal Tracker report, at least 110 PV projects were completed in the UK in the first quarter of 2015, prior to the end of the Renewable Obligations (RO) scheme for projects larger than 5 MW. Subsequently, the total number of large solar farms has been brought up to 311, with a combined capacity of 3.8 GW, more than half of the UK’s total installed PV capacity of 7.5 GW.
“As in markets like Germany, France and Italy, PV developers and installers in the United Kingdom try to demonstrate how fast they can build large PV plants, once the paperwork has cleared,” said Josefin Berg, senior analyst for solar power at IHS. “In fact, some of these projects received their permits as late as early February of this year.”
Interestingly, one-third of the UK’s total capacity of PV is controlled by three of the UK’s largest PV investors — Lightsource, TerraForm Power, and Bluefield LLP.
“Financial investors dominate the ownership landscape in the U.K., and we will see many of these newly built plants being acquired over the coming months,” Berg said.
According to figures published by Solarbuzz in August of last year (prior to its acquisition by IHS), the UK had installed 5 GW worth of solar PV, making it just the fifth country to reach such a figure. With that in mind, the country’s 7.5 GW of cumulative capacity makes for an impressive 7 months.