Why The UK PV Industry Will Continue to Grow Despite the FiT Cuts

On the 9th of June it was announced that, as part of the outcome of the first comprehensive review of the Feed-in-Tariffs (FiT) scheme, there will be reductions in benefits for PV installations that are larger than 50 kW – and for all stand alone PV installations. While many in the industry see this as a blow to an emerging market, Spelsberg UK, a leading manufacturer of PV enclosures, believes that the UK PV market will continue to grow in relation to other European countries.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) decision to cut FiT rates by up to 72% for solar array over 50kW has led many within the industry to criticise the government for renege on its promise to strengthen the UK’s ‘Green Industry’, and pushing potential large scale investments over seas. Without attractive FiT rates it is claimed that large scale installations simply will not happen which will lead to a slowing of the industry’s growth in the UK; as well as a loss of potential employment.

However, this view does not take into consideration the dualism within the PV industry; as well as large, field sized projects, reductions in overall costs have led to a rise in small scale installations. The market for domestic and small scale industrial installations is currently extremely buoyant allowing numerous small scale installers to compete for business; keeping costs down while building an impressive platform of knowledge and experience throughout the UK.

Something else that has been forgotten amongst the negative press is the large number of businesses and individuals in the UK that are turning to green fuels, not purely because of economical incentives, but because they have a desire to contribute to a sustainable world. One of the UK’s largest aftermarket automotive components manufacturers for example has recently completed a large PV installation on the roof of one of its new manufacturing buildings. Despite being known throughout Europe for its commitment to lean manufacturing production efficiency it decided to install PV regardless of tariff changes in Europe.

As advancement in new technologies continues and manufacturing techniques improve, the cost of producing electricity using solar power has decreased in comparison to conventional sources; this makes it economically viable as well as environmentally preferable. Spelsberg believes that this, combined with the small scale installations that are continuing to flourish, and a wide held belief in the importance of renewables, will lead to the UK developing a world leading PV industry.

This faith in the UK’s potential can be seen with the introduction of a new range of PV specific enclosures that have been designed around regulations and standards in the UK. The new UK PV range will help installers of large and small scale projects create functional and efficient solar arrays; something that will be in demand in the UK for many years to come.


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