Feed-in Tariffs will boost the UK solar market

A new report predicts feed-in tariffs will trigger a five-fold increase of the solar market but will require further investments, reports Envido.

Online PR News – 08-June-2010 – – A new report from consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers titled “On the brink of a bright future?” predicts that the launch of feed-in tariffs in the UK will trigger a five-fold increase in demand for photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. Under the scheme, businesses and households installing solar PV systems can receive up to 41.3p from their energy supplier for each kilowatt hour of renewable energy produce.

The UK had just 32MW of solar energy installed at the end of 2009, representing only 0.3% of the total renewable energy in the country. The report predicts that the UK could deliver the 1GW of installed solar capacity by 2015, marking a 30-fold increase on its current size. Although, it will still take a full decade for the UK to install as much solar capacity as Germany has currently.

The blossoming sector is now on course for huge growth following the launch of the government's feed-in tariff scheme on 1 April. Numerous solar energy firms have reported a huge increase in demand for their technology since feed-in tariffs were introduced and are expecting strong order pipelines to continue throughout this year.

The report predicts the most significant opportunities in the solar PV market will exist in the design and installation of large-scale projects and the wholesale of standardized kits for smaller installers.

The report warned the solar market is not currently geared up for rapid growth, and recommended that the sector will have to invest rapidly in developing its supply chain and training staff if it is to take full advantage of the feed-in tariff scheme.

To ensure that as much of the opportunity in terms of job and value creation is captured within the UK, the industry will have to adapt and develop quickly, and further investment will be required to fund the rapid expansion expected.

Furthermore, solar energy firms must be prepared to survive new competitors entering the market in coming years. This will be true across much of the value chain, but particularly downstream around installations.