At last the long-term economic case for UK consumers to invest in PV systems has arrived at the threshold of viability. This is the claim of ENF, the specialist solar PV market research company, in a comprehensive study of the new emerging feed-in tariffs from the UK leading electricity companies.
At last the long-term economic case for UK consumers to invest in solar PV systems has arrived at the threshold of viability. This is the claim of ENF, the specialist solar PV market research company, in a comprehensive study of the new emerging feed-in tariffs from the UK leading electricity companies.
"A deep shadow has laid over the UK solar PV market in stark contrast to the German market, where growth in the solar PV market has been spectacular." says Stephen Temple the CTO of ENF who carried out the study, "The quite remarkable thing is how a very bleak UK story has been gradually transformed to a more encouraging picture, almost without anyone noticing it".
Four things have transformed the UK market for solar PV systems over the past 12 months:
* UK electricity prices have risen (significantly)
* Four large UK electricity suppliers are now offering much-improved feed-in tariffs for grid connected domestic solar PV installations
* Companies are emerging willing to take on the complexity of consumers being paid for their Renewable Obligation Certificate's from their solar systems
* There is an expectation that electricity prices will rise over the long term
We are not about to see a German style lift-off of the UK solar PV market just yet but the new feed-in tariffs from the UK leading electricity companies have definitely "moved the needle". The ENF model shows the potential investment league table for lower power solar systems as:
* Powergen and EDF Energy
* Southern Electric
* Good Energy
The ENF study also reveals the barriers still in the way in the UK market. "The UK has three key challenges" says Temple "the red tape needs to be slashed, there is still some ground to make up on the incentives and the local distribution industry needs better scale economies. Get these things right and a UK installed base of over 1 GW peak of solar energy by 2015 becomes a real possibility". The ENF study confirms the vital importance to the industry of the DTI grant but suggests gradually transforming this to an improved feed-in tariff could unlock faster market growth.
'The New Emerging UK Solar PV Feed-in Tariffs - Transforming the economic case for domestic solar PV systems' obtainable at www.enf.cn/reports priced 450 Euros)
ENF is a solar power information company, with offices in UK and China. ENF's main activities are market surveys and market research, assisting Western companies to purchase solar panels and solar cells, and publishing a global database of solar power companies.