UK to become Europe’s biggest solar PV market in 2014: NPD Solarbuzz

NPD Solarbuzz, a market research-based business focused on the solar energy and photovoltaic (PV) industries, has reported that the UK will be the largest solar PV market in Europe in 2014.

According to the new NPD Solarbuzz UK Deal Tracker report, more than 120 large-scale solar PV projects in the country have recently gained project-planning approval and many of them are targeting completion within the next year.

Of the total projects, 124 are approved projects and are seeking to be installed before the level of support under the Renewable Obligation scheme is reduced in April 2015.

According to NPD Solarbuzz, a very lively and profitable secondary market has developed for completed solar PV farms in addition to the opportunities coming up from the multi-gigawatt pipeline of projects that are still to be developed.

The UK existing solar farm portfolio is valued at approximately £2.5bn ($4.2bn) based on recent acquisitions of completed solar farms, NPD Solarbuzz reported.

“An additional 444 large-scale ground-mounted solar PV projects are currently at various stages of planning in the UK.”

NPD Solarbuzz vice-president Finlay Colville said that in the past six months, the Department of Energy and Climate Change released the UK’s ‘Solar PV Roadmap’ and ‘Solar PV Strategy’ reports, restating aspirations to hit 20GW of cumulative capacity by 2020.

Colville said, “While reaching the long-term goal is expected to involve a blend of rooftop and ground-mounted systems, solar PV farms above 10MW will provide the dominant contribution in 2014.

“With the UK projected to be the largest solar PV market in Europe in 2014, global component suppliers and project developers need to quickly understand the dynamics of the UK solar PV industry.”

According to NPD Solarbuzz, investment firms are rushing to accumulate PV assets based on the UK’s growing solar farm capacity.