UK’s Total Solar Installations Reached 13.5 GW at the End of March 2021

The United Kingdom’s total solar installations stood at nearly 13.5 GW at the end of March 2021, according to the data released by the Ministry of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy. The total solar capacity was spread across 1,072,718 locations, and the installations increased 1.2 % (164 MW) compared to the numbers at the end of March last year.

In March 2021, there was a total of 4,991 new installations, the highest number since the close of the feed-in-tariffs (FiTs) in 2019.

The numbers had decreased significantly in March and April last year because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown imposed by the government, but since July 2020, the market had recovered, and the numbers were back to the pre-lockdown levels.

As per the numbers released by the agency, 77% of the new installations were of capacities below 4 kW, and the total installed capacity in March increased by 9.4 MW.

UK solar installations

As of March 2021, 44% (5.93 GW) of the total installed capacity came from 454 large-scale installations. Smaller installations below the 4 kW accounted for 21% of the total installations.

The U.K. had added 12.6 MW of solar capacity in January 2021 and had 13.47 GW of installed solar capacity across 1,064,148 installations at the end of January 2021. As of January 2021, 44% or 5.9 GW of total installed solar capacity comes from the 457 large-scale installations (greater than 5 MW).

In November last year, the UK had announced that it would cut emissions to net-zero by 2050. The competitive nature of the ‘Contracts for Difference’ program has been successful in driving a substantial number of renewable projects in Great Britain and, in the process, bringing down the cost of electricity. The CfD program is the government’s primary mechanism for supporting low-carbon electricity generation in the country.

It also released a ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution to advance the country towards net-zero emissions. Under the plan, the government will provide funding worth £12 billion (~$15.95 billion) for its implementation and create up to 250,000 new green jobs. The government anticipates three times more investment from the private sector to support the new plan.