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UK doubles official Q1 2015 solar estimate

The UK government has doubled its estimate for solar deployment in the UK during the first quarter of 2015, upgrading its total deployment forecast to 6.5GW, PV-Tech has reported

Figures released by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) last week stated that the UK had deployed a total of 6,521MW of PV capacity by the end of March 2015, a significant increase on the 5.7GW capacity it originally forecast in April.

The new figures take DECC’s total Q1 forecast to 1,285MW from an initial 614MW, which – although ultimately more realistic than its previous estimate – still falls short of other figures suggested within the industry.

Research firm IHS estimated that 1.6GW had been added throughout the first quarter, but other estimates have suggested the total deployment capacity at the end of the period could have stood at as much as 8GW.

The majority of the added capacity in Q1 came from capacity commissioned and accredited under the Renewables Obligation (RO) support scheme; the DECC has forecast that total capacity under the RO stood at 2.3GW at the end of Q1 2015, an increase of 15% (308MW) on Q4 2014 figures.

The DECC also estimated solar PV capacity at the end of April to have stood at 6,562MW from almost 700,000 separate installations, an increase of just 41MW from the previous month’s total.

The RO scheme has now been scaled back and is only available for projects under 5MW. Larger projects must bid for support under the competitive Contracts for Difference framework.

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