The UK is to become the biggest market for solar PV in Europe in the course of 2014, certifying its prominence as the hottest market throughout the sector. This will be the first time in which the UK will have took the podium spot for installed PV in Europe, consequently closing the superiority of mainland Europe (mainly Germany).
From 1995 to 2013, Germany was the prime country for solar PV in Europe each and every year, apart from 2008 when Spain took their position – this means 2014 will only be the second year in 20 years that a country, excluding Germany, has took the lead for European PV market requests.
Towards the end of 2009, PV installations in the UK was just 0.3% of that installed in Germany. However, just four years later and the UK is expected to lead the way for yearly PV demand in 2014.
Recent research on the European PV market for 2014, as stated by NPD Solarbuzz European PV Markets Quarterly report, claims the UK is now predicted to add 2.875GW of solar PV in 2014. This constitutes to a additional upgrade by NPD Solarbuzz on the UK market for 2014, with the earlier prediction a couple of months ago setting the UK at 2.5GW for the year.
The basis of the optimistic forecast for the UK is based on the following constituents:
- NPD Solarbuzz just finalised Q1 2014 demand for the UK at just above 1.1GW, due to several additional projects completed just ahead of the 31 March 2014 Renewable Obligation certificate (ROC) deadline.
- Funding remains strong under 1.4 ROCs (and even 1.3 ROCs for 2015/2016), with a very healthy pipeline of large-scale projects to be completed from Q2 to Q4 2014, as sourced from the new NPD Solarbuzz UK Deal Tracker report.
- There is likely to be a Q4 2014 push to avoid flooding concerns in Q1 2015.
- The small feed-in tariff (FiT) markets remain buoyant, with the residential and sub-50kW commercial rooftop markets successfully navigating FiT degression phases.
- The large rooftop market has sprung to life since the start of the year, with a plethora of MW-plus installations already done.
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