STA calls for coordinated asset registration in light of ‘inaccurate’ BEIS stats

The Solar Trade Association (STA) has slammed government solar deployment statistics, issuing an ultimatum to either “get its house in order” or cease publishing the figures.

Official statistics released by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) last week claimed there was 7.5MW of solar deployed in July this year. Around 4.4MW was installed in the 0-4kW band and 1.3MW in the 4-10kW band. A further 1.8kW was installed in the 10-50kW band, according to BEIS’ statistics.

July’s installs are up on the 6.7MW installed in June, but at a time where the Smart Export Guarantee has yet to come into effect, meaning installs aren’t required to be registered with the MCS, there is potential for new capacity to be missed.

The Solar Trade Association – which has previously called into questionthe accuracy of the “meaningless” figures released by BEIS – has once again criticised the stats, calling on the government to implement a centralised energy data catalogue that is accessible to industry.

Market data for small-scale renewables and energy storage that is detailed, accurate and timely is “critical” for driving investment and new business models, ensuring safe, efficient and cost-effective grid operation and supply and providing a robust evidence base for research and policy-making, the STA said.

STA chief executive Chris Hewett pointed to the lack of visibility of large-scale commercial and industrial rooftop PV, which are too large to be captured by MCS registration.

Hewett also cited a report released by the Energy Data Taskforce earlier in the year that stated around 10% of assets aren’t visible to National Grid ESO.

“How will we know if we are on track to reach net zero if the government cannot even be certain of what is connected to the grid?” Hewett said, stating there is an “urgent” need for a coordinated asset registration strategy as limited visibility is “holding back” innovation and decarbonisation.

“It is time for BEIS to either get its house in order or stop publishing these meaningless statistics which clearly do not capture the full picture of UK PV deployment.”