SolarPower Europe: UK Installed 3.5 GW Of Solar PV In 2015, Installations Set To Remain High In 2016

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Preliminary estimates from SolarPower Europe place new solar photovoltaic installation capacity in the UK for 2015 at around 3.5 gigawatts, according to recent reports. Finalized figures are currently expected to be revealed sometime next month.

The preliminary figures for the European market as a whole are 8 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity — which means that the UK was responsible for a large chunk of new solar photovoltaic (PV) installations there, notably outperforming Germany. (It should be remembered here that SolarPower Europe only takes into account grid-connected projects.)

UK solar

Interestingly, despite cuts to the UK’s solar PV subsidies, SolarPower Europe expects the UK to likely remain the top solar market in Europe in 2016.

The CEO of SolarPower Europe, James Watson, stated: “A figure of 3.5 GW makes the UK market the biggest market in Europe again. There is a huge pipeline that could be realized in 2016 as demonstrated by (Solar Intelligence’s) Finlay Colville. So I’ve got a gut feeling that the UK could still be number one in 2016 depending on how many of those projects in the pipeline actually are realized.”

“Even if figure this totals 1.5 GW, I reckon the UK could still be the biggest market again. We might see a little rebound in the German market, partly because of the KfW renewal of support for storage systems. These are generally being put together with household PV systems, so that is helping with a bounce in the market,” he continued, in his interview with PV Tech.

“The final report that comes out at the beginning of March will include analysis of what we think our shipment and installation figures are so that we can make a direct comparison with BNEF and others, which will be more useful. If we’re using the same metrics, that will reduce some of the confusion. We’re going to be much more explicit that what we are measuring is what is being connected to the grid.”

Along with the UK and Germany, France represents a notable, growing solar PV market in Europe — one that could potentially take the top position over the coming years.

Image Credit: Primrose Solar

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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