The UKs solar PV market could grow five-fold in 2010 as a result of the countrys new feed-in-tariffs, said the PWC. The report also estimated that by 2015, the countrys solar PV energy capacity could have grown over 30 times to reach 1,000 megawatts (MW). However, it continued, even with this growth, the UKs capacity in 2020 would only reach the levels already achieved by Germany today.
The analysis found that the widespread roll out of solar PV has been slowed by a number of factors including a lack of incentives for small-scale domestic installations, complexity of funding, and planning restrictions. The majority of existing UK installations are small domestic panel, similar to France and Germany.??
Moreover, it said that feed-in-tariffs in continental Europe have driven rapid increases in solar PV installations, with annual increases in excess of 300 percent in many countries during the first year of the tariffs’ availability. The coalition government recently announced plans to implement a full program of feed-in tariff systems for electricity in the UK.
Daniel Guttmann, renewables director for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP commented: "The significant expansion that may be just around the corner will change todays ‘cottage industry’ into a much more professionally organized sector. The PV market will become more sophisticated with more complex products and a greater focus on accountability for system performance.??"
He continued: "The industry will need to adapt and develop quickly to ensure that as much of the opportunity in terms of job and value creation is captured within the UK. Companies that have been successful so far have benefited from investment in order to fund expansion. Further investment will be required in order to train for and fund the rapid expansion expected. New entrants are likely to expand into the UK in coming years. We believe that this will be true across much of the value chain, but particularly downstream around installations."
The PwC study, On the brink of a bright future? Insights on the UK solar photovoltaic market also found: