Large amount of small-scale systems installed triggers 3.5 per cent fall in feed-in tariff subsidies for first time since 2012
Solar panels were fitted on the roofs of more than 125,000 homes last year, according to government figures.
The numbers also show that 700MW of solar was installed on buildings and in ground-mounted solar farms under the Feed-in Tariff subsidy scheme over the course of 2014 – the equivalent of powering 212,000 homes.
Alongside the statistics, the government also confirmed sufficient solar systems were deployed in the last quarter of 2014 to trigger 3.5 per cent cuts in tariffs from April for installations smaller than 10kW and between 50kW and 5MW. About 124MW of smaller systems were added over the three months and 53MW of systems between 50kW and 5MW.
The Solar Trade Association (STA) said this was the first time since 2012 that the tariff will fall because of the number of systems deployed rather than because of the automatic drop that kicks in every nine months.
The industry body added that solar PV installations between 10kW and 50kW, often fitted on schools, village halls or business units, grew by more than 50 per cent between October and December 2014 compared with the previous three-month period. However, the 38MW added over that time fell short of the 50MW that would have triggered.
David Pickup, business analyst at the STA, said that while the industry is experiencing “healthy growth”, the tariff banding needs to be reconfigured to allow for more growth in larger rooftop and smaller or community solar farm projects.
“We are particularly pleased to see good levels of growth in the large rooftop market with 33MW of solar – 164 installations – installed in the last three months of 2014, more than double that in the previous quarter,” he added. “But this isn’t enough – we need to see more solar going up on roofs and more gradual reductions in the tariff to get to the industry’s goal of subsidy-free solar.”
Source: SciTech News