UK solar boom sees new highs

UK solar capacity now exceeds 15GW, according to a report

Big Zero Report 2022

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The UK solar sector has seen strong growth during the first half of the year.

A new report by Solar Energy UK estimates that the country’s solar capacity now exceeds 15GW, approaching four times the maximum output of the UK’s largest power station, Drax.

With a capacity of 556MW connected in the first six months of the year, the industry is in line to exceed the 1GW installed in 2016, the trade association has said.

Capacity totalling 164MW was fitted to homes’ rooftops from January to June, up from 153MW over the whole of 2021.

Quarterly figures also show the pace of installation has risen by almost three times year-on-year, with 95MW installed in the second quarter of this year, compared to 36MW in the same period last year.

A total of 97MW was installed at a commercial scale, including factories and warehouses from April to June, more than during any quarter since 2019.

The report also estimates that ground-mounted solar farms gained 140MW of capacity during the second quarter, almost triple the figure from the second quarter of last year.

Chris Hewett, Chief Executive of Solar Energy UK, said: “In a time of economic crisis, growth in UK solar has more than doubled in 12 months, and the trend will continue.

“This is cheap, clean, home-grown energy, providing lower bills, secure jobs and getting Britain off the hook of Russian gas.”

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