Over 125,000 homes put solar on their roof last year, according to the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change, which published their latest statistics on small-scale solar PV installations.


These numbers indicate that a total of 700MW of solar, which is the equivalent of powering 212,000 homes, was installed on buildings and in ground-mounted solar farms due to the Feed in Tariff over the course of the year.

The latest announcement has also set the tariffs to be paid out for the period from April to June of this year.

The surge in demand for residential solar implies that since 2012 the tariff paid out for that size of system will reduce not just because of the automatic reduction every nine months but instead because of the robust number of installations towards the end of 2014.

Moreover, slightly larger solar PV installations between 10kW and 50kW – installed on the roof tops of schools, village halls or business units – grew by over 50% between October and December 2014 as against the earlier three month period.

However, there were not enough installations to lead to a reduction in the tariff for this size of scheme.

Solar Trade Association business analyst David Pickup said: "These latest statistics show that the FiT solar PV market is seeing healthy growth with plenty of solar going up on domestic and commercial roofs as well as small solar farms.

"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.

"But this isn’t enough – as we have shown in our model of the Feed in Tariff budget, 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. Our Solar Independence Plan sets out how we can restructure the Feed in Tariff to get more solar for very little extra money and give a path to zero subsidy."

The projects that were eligible for the Feed in Tariff – those between 50kW and 5MW that include small solar farms and big factory roofs – saw high deployment which triggered a reduction in tariff. However, this reduction was had to happen anyway due to the nine month automatic degression rule.

Image: Rooftop solar installations. Photo: Courtesy of Peter Schmelzle/Wikipedia.