Solar capacity from households increases to 73%
According to a new report, the UK witnessed a surge in small-scale residential Solar Panel installations in 2022, representing 73% of the country’s increased solar capacity. The report indicates that domestic solar panel installations in the UK are experiencing their most rapid growth since 2016, primarily due to the escalation of energy prices.
The increase in small-scale Solar Panel installations can be credited to the surge in electricity prices and the decreasing costs of PV panels and batteries. The research indicates that the growth of added solar capacity in the previous year (73%) exceeded the average of the past five years, which stood at 43%.
The future of the UK’s solar capacity
June 2022 marked a milestone as it was the first time since March 2016 that domestic installations accounted for over a quarter (26%) of the UK’s solar capacity.
The study performed by NTT DATA UK&I examined government data spanning twelve years. It revealed that in 2022, household solar panels contributed to 69% of the country’s additional solar capacity.
However, experts have warned that the rapid expansion of residential solar panels has put pressure on the UK’s grid to undergo a transformation to accommodate the increased demand.
Eduardo Fernandez, Head of Gas, Power and Water at NTT DATA UK&I, said: “Energy microgeneration has graduated from theory to practice: due, in part, to rapidly increasing energy prices.
“Renewed investment in solar installations by homeowners is driving the decentralisation of the energy grid and ramping up the pressure for Distribution System Operators transformation. Our data shows that small installations now make up a quarter of the UK’s national solar capacity, with that figure rising rapidly, which puts pressure on Distribution Network Operators to make drastic changes to their technology stack.
“However, the data shows that homeowners are now paid an average of around 4.9p/kWh to deliver excess electricity back to the grid. Wholesale prices paid by electricity companies are almost ten times this and the current energy cap is nine times the price paid.
“This, along with a limited grid capacity for renewables, often contributes to solar PV owners installing batteries to store excess energy, making energy supply and demand more rigid and inefficient as electricity must be transmitted over greater distances to meet demand.”