The UK added only 950MW of solar capacity during 2017, down from 1.97GW in 2016 and 4.1GW in 2015.

The figures were revealed by trade body SolarPower Europe, which blamed the cuts to subsidies made by the Conservative government in 2015.

James Watson, Chief Executive of SolarPowerEurope, said: “Solar power has been voted the most popular energy source in the UK, it is therefore sad to see the UK Government not take advantage of the huge potential of solar.”

The UK had the slowest growth among the world’s 20 largest solar markets, along with the worst political outlook for solar, the report said.

UK has knock-effect for EU

Michael Schmela, Head of Market Intelligence at SolarPower Europe, added: “When looking at the 28 members of the European Union (EU), there is little growth: the EU-28 added 5.91GW in 2017, compared to 5.89GW in 2016.

“This result stems from the UK’s ‘solar exit’ in 2016, which halved new installations in 2017.

“However, 21 of the 28 EU markets added more solar than the year before.”

> Download the report

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