Solar technician installing rooftop PV. Image: Gustavo Fring

Solar technician installing rooftop PV. Image: Gustavo Fring

The UK government has published solar PV deployment statistics which show a total of 15.2GW of solar capacity, an increase of 6.7% in the year since June 2022. 

The yearly increase is the highest seen since September 2017, and there are now a total of 1,353,261 solar installations in the UK. 

The government report records 18,808 installations in June 2023, amounting to 84MW of solar capacity. This was the highest monthly figure since March 2023, and is much higher than average figures for 2016-21. 

Covid-19 lockdown measures in 2020 saw a sharp decline in solar installations, but installation numbers recovered by the second half of 2020 and went on to exceed pre-pandemic levels.  

From 2016-21 the median number of solar installations a month was around 3,000, but in the past year the figure has been over 15,000 a month. 

The report underlined that the current figures are provisional and subject to future changes, the report noting they are “likely to be revised as further data are received on newly operational sites”. 

Solar deployment statistics. Image: Department for Energy Security and Net Zero

Some commentators warn that the government’s statistics are still too high, with Gareth Simkins from Solar Energy UK telling SPP that the true deployment figure is probably a bit higher.

UK Solar deployment by accreditation. Image: Department for Energy Security and Net Zero

The report shows that since the end of subsidies like ROs and FITs, new solar deployment is unsubsidised, and therefore it may be hard to capture all the newly installed solar capacity in the statistics. The report notes that it “does not currently include unsubsidised solar installations below 150 kW capacity that are not recorded in these data sources. We are reviewing data sources to improve coverage and intend to make use of data from other sources when available, such as Embedded Capacity Registers.” 

It is good news that the pace of solar deployment is accelerating again, but it will need to increase even more to meet the massive levels of demand predicted in future as the economy moves away from reliance on gas and oil.