More solar systems will be installed in the UK in 2023 than in all of 2022, according to the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), which certifies photovoltaic, wind and micro combined heat and power installations with capacities up to 50kW.
Trade body Solar Energy UK (SEUK) said data showed 138,336 solar PV installations were installed in 2023 since 2022, up from 137,926 last year, which SEUK said was a "post-subsidy industry record". As of September 26, MCS recorded full-year solar installations rising to 142,091.
On current trends, installations in 2023 will also exceed the previous record of 203,120 installations set in 2011 at the peak of the Feed-in Tariff (FiT). Feed-in tariff subsidies were eliminated in 2019.
SEUK said solar installations have grown rapidly in recent years, with more than half of the installed capacity over the past four and a half years being installed in the past 13 months.
Ian Rippin, CEO of MCS, said: “In the face of a cost of living crisis and an energy crisis, it is reassuring that consumers have the confidence to turn to local energy sources. Small-scale solar provides home and business owners with the energy independence and security to cope with growing of electricity costs.”
“There is still more to do to make the transition to low-carbon technologies easier for UK consumers, but 2023 is already the most successful year in our history for rooftop solar installations for homes and businesses. This remains the nation we share A critical step in the journey to net zero emissions,” Ripping added.
Chris Hewett, CEO of Solar UK, said: "The reason behind the extraordinary location for rooftop solar deployment is simple. Grid power is still expensive, while solar is cheap and in most cases only takes a few years It pays for itself. It’s one of the best investments home and small business owners can make. Coupled with growing concerns about climate change and record temperatures around the world, it’s no wonder so many people are taking the plunge and trying to decarbonize.” .
The news comes as the UK government scraps some net zero targets to decarbonise the energy grid through heat pumps and electric vehicles. The good news is that domestic and commercial consumers are taking matters into their own hands by installing small-scale solar power, but the UK government also needs to show its commitment to decarbonisation.
Responding to last week's rollback of net zero targets, British Solar chief executive Chris Hewett said: "If Rishi Sunak really wants to limit the UK in this campaign position, then this is a historic economic misjudgment. It demonstrates a leader who is out of touch with the needs of British companies and energy consumers."