U.K. Solar Energy Capacity Surges 10-Fold with at least 761.9 MW

Plunging prices for solar power made more developments economical, leading to a surge in installations. Ministers responded in March with an emergency review of its support measures that cut rates as much as 71 percent for commercial- scale plants. Developers then turned their attention to smaller rooftop projects, prompting the government in October propose cuts those facilities too.

The boom outpaced the government’s forecast. More than 230,000 solar plants with 761.9 megawatts have registered to qualify for tariffs since the program started, according to Ofgem. Half of this capacity was registered in November and December alone, the latest weekly data show.

These figures compare with the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s projections for 284 megawatts by April 2013 and 832 megawatts by April 2015.

As much as 1.1 gigawatts might have already been installed in the U.K. because of a lag in registering completed projects, which would cost about 373 million pounds ($572 million) a year in subsidies, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance figures.