New research has discovered that solar photovoltaic panels projects on a commercial-scale in the UK are able to generate a staggering £13.5 million worth of electricity every year.

The findings were released by SmartestEnergy, with the company discovering that there were 528 independent, commercial solar projects in the UK by the end of 2012 with a capacity of over 50kW. These installations provide a huge 322MW of capacity.

According to the research, the south of England was the main location for solar installations of this kind, with the south west being the location for 128 of these, whereas 113 were found in the south east.

Discussing the research, head of generation at SmartestEnergy Iain Robertson said that factors such as rising energy prices and the introduction of the feed-in tariff have increased interest and development of larger solar facilities.

“For businesses, farms and organisations faced with steep rises in energy costs, investing in their own renewable energy projects can generate significant savings and help them remain competitive," he said.

"The combined strength of a large number of these projects will also play an increasingly important role in helping the country meet its climate change targets in the years ahead.”

The company has suggested that the level of investment could increase further in the coming months, which could potentially be true, as energy minister Greg Barker has called for UK solar capacity to reach the 20GW capacity mark in 2020.

It is one of the few solid commitments Mr Barker and the UK government has made towards energy efficiency, having refused to set a goal for countrywide carbon reduction.

However, the most recent announcement could stimulate the market for large solar sites more, with companies looking to benefit from generous government incentives.

Generous incentives are also offered for domestic installations of solar panels, with the Green Deal and the feed-in tariff available for smaller renewable projects.