The UK government is hoping to stimulate investment in the commercial rooftop solar energy sector by ending the need for planning permission for installations up to 1 MW in size.

The government said in March that it would extend permitted development to all rooftop solar of up to 1 MW, removing a key barrier to growth in the commercial and industrial sector.

Currently, solar installations of up to 50 kW benefit from permitted development, meaning that planning permission is not required. A 1 MW scheme would be roughly the size of a large warehouse or distribution centre, according to the Solar Trade Association (STA).

"Getting planning permission is an extra hoop to jump through, and we are delighted that this is one more barrier to getting solar on roofs that has been removed," said STA business analyst David Pickup. "Extending the threshold from 50 kW to 1 MW is a boost for commercial solar. So many warehouses, factories and offices could save money on their energy bills by having solar PV on their roofs."