After Solar Power Portal last week reported that photovoltaic installations in the UK had begun to tail off, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has quietly updated its weekly data revealing shocking figures not even the most optimistic of us would have expected.

With the feed-in tariff deadline fast approaching, it would come as no surprise to hear that hundreds of UK solar installers were rushing to complete projects before Monday’s cut-off point. However, when DECC last week published a graph showing that the installation figures had begun to decline, we assumed that all those who were planning to install had already done so.

What we didn’t realise was that DECC had seemingly made a mistake, and that the figures had in fact continued to climb at an alarming rate.

The latest data on the DECC website in fact shows that a total of 83.121MW was added to the MCS data last week (ended December 4) with 60.905MW of that total within the 0-4kW bracket, equating to more than 21,000 installs.

The corresponding graph (to the left) also highlights how the dip featured in last week’s graph was in fact fantastical, as install figures have now continued to climb to reach a total of more than 611MW of installations since the beginning of January 2011.

These figures are far more revealing in comparison to regulator Ofgem’s severely out of date numbers, which claim that only 24.874MW for the same week period and only 381.477MW for the year.

Discouragingly, Ofgem’s stale figures are being picked up by mainstream press, including the BBC, as well as market analysts and the industry itself, sending a seriously distorted message out to the public en masse.

The real-time figures revealed here show the incredible amount of solar uptake evident in the UK, with more than 83MW added last week alone, it is no surprise the MCS website crashed.

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