Solar industry celebrates rooftop record with installs set for all-time high

More solar power systems have been installed on roofs this year than over the whole of 2022, according to MCS statistics, setting a new annual record.

Solar installs could surpass FiT-fuelled all-time record.

A total of 138,336 solar photovoltaic installations have been registered since December. This is up from 137,926 registered over 2022 which was already a record for the post-subsidy industry.

The figures refer to installations with a capacity of 50 kilowatts and below, deployed on the likes of homes, schools and small businesses. A typical domestic installation has a capacity around 4kW.

Installs may surpass tariff-driven, all-time high

Current trends indicate that the UK could well surpass the all-time record of 203,120 installations, set during the height of the Feed-in Tariffs regime in 2011. The scheme was scrapped at the end of 2019, the Government arguing that its objective to lower the costs of photovoltaic energy had been met.

Illustrating how quickly the industry has grown, more than half of the capacity installed over the past four and a half years has been installed over the past 13 months.

“In the face of the cost-of-living crisis and energy crisis, it is reassuring that consumers have the confidence to turn to home-grown energy,” commented MCS chief executive Ian Rippin.

“Small-scale solar provides home and business owners with energy independence and security against ever-increasing electricity costs.

“There is still more work to be done to make the transition to low-carbon technology even easier for UK consumers, but 2023 is already the most successful year in our history for solar installations on the roofs of homes and businesses. This remains a critical step in our shared national journey to net zero.”

Shorter payback times make solar the low cost option

Solar Energy UK chief executive Chris Hewett pinpoints the reasons behind the extraordinary pace of rooftop solar deployment:  “Power from the grid remains expensive, whereas solar is cheap, paying back in a handful of years in most circumstances.

“It’s one of the best investments that home and small business owners can make. Coupled with growing concern over climate change and record temperatures around the world, it’s no wonder that so many people have taken the plunge to decarbonise.”