This report from the National Grid makes for encouraging reading for the UK solar outlook. With the closure of the ROC scheme last month, I am pleasantly surprised to read that the National Grid view the UK as a 1.8GW market over the next year. With the increased deployment of solar onto the grid, the demand profile is shifting in turn. Last month saw the transmission system afternoon demand fall below overnight demand for the first time in the UK's history due to the amount of solar generation on the grid. National Grid has now reduced their demand forecast for the summer period for the third year in a row due to increased solar deployment. This is proof that solar is playing a very important part in the UK's energy mix.
The National Grid’s forecast for the deployment of solar PV systems in the following 12 months are impressive. The grid operator says “Embedded solar PV capacity has increased from 9.3 GW in February 2016, to 11.7 GW in February 2017. We expect this upwards trend to continue, with an additional 150 MW of capacity expected each month for the next 12 months. This equates to 13.5 GW of installed capacity by the end of February 2018.” The report also analyses the effect of the solar PV generation to the overall power system’s demand pattern. Daily peak demand timing is highly influenced by the level of solar radiation. Thus, “on a bright sunny day, the peak demand is likely to occur either in the morning between 8am and 9am, or after sunset,” concludes the report.