Business Energy Broker
UK Solar PV has a bright future after shinning growth in 2021.
In 2021, UK solar PV capacity installations reached 730MW, a significant achievement for renewable energy. In perspective, this represents a 36% growth increase compared to 2020, from 538MW, and brings the total UK capacity to 14.6GW, a 5.3% increase from 2020.
The solar PV capacity figure covers three sections:
These sections represent homeowners, businesses and investors, which will now have stable and subsidy-free growth after solar PV’s strongest year in 2021. The rooftop section has provided a significant portion of the 730MW with 369MW; this is the highest capacity installed since 2015 when large subsidies were available.
The recent commodity market volatility has played a factor in the success of solar PV. Commercial consumers increased investment in onsite PV installation to support demand by generating electricity and reducing reliance on their supplier, reducing costs. These investments will provide long term benefits for the consumer, national grid and environment.
Despite figures falling short of meeting demand growth as the world economy recovers and operates at full capacity, the growth figures for PV capacity show that the UK can continue to benefit from solar installation for the future ahead. Moreover, residential and commercial consumers will benefit from reduced utility bills in an unprecedented market period of volatility.
Reported figures also include installations from the Future Homes Standard building regulations that will come into effect this year and is expected to generate a significant increase in solar PV installs for new homes. The Government will also end unfair tax treatment for businesses installing PV onsite.
The Future Homes Standard aims to ensure that new build homes from 2025 will produce 75-80% fewer carbon emissions than homes built to current regulations.
Solar Energy UK CEO, Chris Hewett said:
“2021 was the year the UK’s solar industry came of age. We are now seeing stable, sustained growth across the sector, with order books overflowing. As fossil fuel energy bills soar, rooftop solar in particular is now very popular. More and more consumers and businesses are investing in solar because they know it is a proven way to cut their energy bills and carbon emissions. It is also now a cheap way to charge EVs and decarbonise heating.”