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Solar Power

Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 14th March 2013.

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Photo of Charles Hendry Charles Hendry Conservative, Wealden

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what information his Department holds on the total (a) number and (b) installed capacity of small solar schemes below the permitted development threshold in the UK.

Photo of Gregory Barker Gregory Barker The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

There is no specific threshold for permitted development of solar in the UK. Permitted development is based on criteria, which can be found (for England) at:

(criteria may vary for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).

As such, DECC does not hold information on the total number and installed capacity of permitted development solar schemes. However, it does hold information on the overall number and installed capacity of solar schemes, as well as the number and installed capacity of solar schemes that have been through the planning process (permitted developments are not required to go through the planning process).

As at the end of September 2012, there was 1,582 MW of operational installed capacity of solar schemes in the UK, covering around 361,000 installations(1). Of this, 194 MW of installed capacity, across 143 schemes, had been through the planning process.

(1) Number of solar photovoltaic installations accredited on the GB Feed in Tariff scheme—which covers the majority of schemes in the UK—as at the end of January 2013.


1. Total UK solar photovoltaic installed capacity: Energy Trends December 2012, table ET6.1:

2. Number of solar photovoltaic installations: monthly central Feed-in Tariff statistics:

3. Number and installed capacity of non-permitted solar photovoltaic schemes:

Renewable Energy Planning Database:

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