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By Finlay Colville
In a set of two blogs to be featured this week, we provide the first ever full breakdown of who owns the UK’s entire cumulative solar PV capacity, deployed as of the end of 2016, adding up to about 12GW of capacity.
The analysis was undertaken by the in-house research team at Solar Media, and formed the basis of a presentation I delivered on 1 February 2017 at the Solar Finance & Investment Europe conference in London.
More details on the 7.6GW of large-scale solar sites, including a wealth of information on the 1,021 large-scale ground-mount sites making up the largest segment of UK solar, can also be found in our Completed Assets monthly report, with subscription details available through this link.
This blog explains the background and methodology used to understand the ownership profile of UK solar, and covers details on the different rooftop segments. The second part of the blog - to be released in the next few days - deals with the ground-mount segment that forms the dominant part of UK solar.
Why ownership matters
Who owns the PV installation is always a key issue to understand, whether on rooftops (homeowner, third-party, tenant, etc.) or ground-mounted. The issue is of further interest on ground-mounted solar farms, with O&M companies and sub-contractors, and for any portfolios where asset managers are engaged.
From a secondary market perspective, any party engaged in refinancing, site acquisition and portfolio consolidation needs to know about site ownership at all times.
The UK market is firmly being reset now to become one dominated by secondary market trading during 2017 and 2018. From a European perspective, the secondary markets in the UK and Italy are currently very much ‘hot’.
Therefore, the timing of the presentation last week was perfect, with the UK moving towards 12GW of installed capacity by the end of this quarter.
A guided tour of the presentation and analysis
The remainder of this article now tracks through the main slides of the talk, with each slide followed by a short commentary.
The sub-heading of the talk also reveals the most important question within the UK solar industry today: what is the served addressable market (SAM) for tradable secondary assets during 2017.
Indeed, in addition to simply segmenting out the ownership profile of all solar installed in the UK, our research team painstakingly went through all 1,021 completed large-scale solar farms and assessed the likelihood of each being put on the market during 2017.