The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) released figures earlier this year which show a dramatic increase in the number of domestic solar PV installations within the UK.
The figures show that PV installations have tripled since 2010, most probably in response to the government's Feed-in Tariff Scheme (FITS). The scheme has lured some 11,314 people, most of them domestic householders, installing solar PV during the first three months of this year. The total figure of solar PV generated energy has jumped from 26 MW before the introduction of FiTS in April 2010 to 77.8 MW in March this year, the DECC report reveals. This means that at least 28,505 people have benefitted from FITS up to the end of March, joining some 200 micro wind-turbine schemes and a handful of micro-hydro.
Ray Noble from the Renewable Energy Association said there had been a surge of interest in solar PV. "The vast majority of these installs are domestic and the surge is a result of rising consumer awareness, with people telling one another about solar" he said, adding that it wasn't a rush to beat the FITs review but that he thought that the figures would have been even better without the review.
Noble said that part of the reason for the improved figures was down to the fall in costs of solar panels and labour. "The cost of solar is falling, because solar panels are getting cheaper and the labour costs are coming down as bigger players and more competition enter what was once a cottage industry. We think the feed-in-tariffs could come down by as much as 30% and still make financial sense for consumers."