The United Kingdom distributed solar power generation market is expected to grow at a CAGR of about 1.73% during the forecast period of 2021-2026, reaching around 8.3 GW by 2026 up from 7.3 GW in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic, with several waves of infections being registered in the United Kingdom, is expected to derail the pipeline of projects in the distributed solar power sector, with lockdown measures in place and disrupted supply chain of the solar market. Moreover, the commercial and industrial sector’s revenue has been one of the hardest hit during the pandemic, which has led the companies to revise their spending. However, the gradual shift from energy generation using conventional sources such as coal and natural gas to clean energy is expected to help grow the United Kingdom distributed solar power generation market. Also, advancements in technology leading to solar panel manufacturing cost reduction and increase in efficiency have been the major factors for the growth of distributed solar power generation market in the United Kingdom. But, the changes in government policies related to the small-scale solar industry in the country are expected to hinder the growth of the market.
- The declining costs of small-scale solar PV systems and their installation have been the major factors driving the market studied. The declininh trend of the average cost of solar PV planels panels, cost of installation, etc, are leading towards the market growth. - Commercial and industrial sectors are showing interest in the distributed solar power generation, due to various economic benefits and are considered as a constant source of energy that can eliminate downtimes and equipment damage due to voltage fluctuations in conventional power grids. This, in turn, is expected to create a huge opportunity for the distributed solar power generation market in the country. - Domestic or residential rooftop segment in the United Kingdom is expected to be the largest market during the forecast period, over rising environmental concerns and economic benefits of domestic distributed solar power generation.
Key Market Trends Declining Small-Scale Solar PV Installation Costs to Drive the Market
- The declining costs of small-scale solar PV systems and their installation have led to a significant growth of the market studied, for the past few years. The average cost of solar PV generating equipment, cost of installation, and connecting to electricity supply and VAT of the systems lying between 0.1 kW and 50 kW declined by around 15% in 2019, as compared to 2013. - By the end of 2020, the total number of solar PV installations in the country with system size less than 4 kW (mostly residential) stood at 963,268 systems, representing a significant increase of approximately 99.75% compared to the number of installations in 2013. - This trend, in turn, has led to the growth in the total number of distributed solar PV installations in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors in the United Kingdom. - Although supportive government policies, subsidies, and incentives supported the growth of the small-scale and distributed solar PV markets in the United Kingdom until 2019, the declining costs of solar PV and associated systems are expected to continue to drive the market during the forecast period.
Residential Segment to Dominate the Market
- According to the United Kingdom Solar Trade Association, as of 2020, there were close to one million solar PV systems installed on houses in the United Kingdom, and nearly 100,000 solar thermals. In the country, a typical system is likely to include 10-14 solar panels. If there is a surplus, the country has a provision to send it to the national grid. Many solar systems are now also installed with a battery, which facilitates the surplus power to be stored and used later. - In 2019, the residential PV systems up to 4 kW in size increased by 91.7 MW, and those between 4 kW-10 kW in size grew by 32.4 MW. The solar systems having capacities between 10 kW to 50 kW increased by 67.1 MW. Hence, at the end of 2019, the cumulative capacity of the rooftop segment for PV systems up to 4 kW in size accounted for the largest share with an installed capacity of 2.69 GW, followed by systems between 10 kW-50 kW, with 875.7 MW of capacity. - However, in March 2019, the government closed the FiT scheme, after which the number of rooftop installations slowed down. The government has rolled out several other schemes to counter the negative effects of removing the tariff on the market, such as introducing new rules which would give households the right to sell solar power back to energy firms. - Under the new law, homeowners who installed new rooftop solar panels starting January 1, 2020 would be able to decrease their electricity bills by selling the surplus energy to their supplier. This is expected to encourage people to install rooftop panels, which in turn is expected to drive the distributed solar power generation market during the forecast period.
Competitive Landscape The United Kingdom distributed solar power generation market is moderately fragmented. Some of the major companies are Solarsense UK Limited, Custom Solar, Canadian Solar Inc., Jinko Solar Holdings Ltd., and Trina Solar Ltd.
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