End Solar Uncertainty Says Major PV Panel Manufacturer
Sharp Solar’s Andrew Lee, the company’s International Sales Manager, is calling on the British government to end uncertainty regarding solar PV and Feed-In Tariffs.
Lee says the industry needs a promise of long term tariffs set at a sustainable level and a clearly mapped out digression rate. There should also be specially designed tariffs for schools, social housing and hospitals and tax relief for community projects he said. Lee’s comments were featured in an article written for the website ClickGreen in which he states that the main challenge for the solar industry in 2012 is to ensure the survival of the sector and to keep a watchful guard against any more cuts.
Stability and foresight have to be part of the decision making progress and it is essential that the current and on-going political uncertainty along with all the legal wrangling does not overshadow the main aim of the tariff, which is to provide a sound structure for the development of the UK solar industry and the establishment of a low carbon economy.
Contrary to early criticism of Feed-in Tariff schemes in other countries, Germany has now seen a growth in output within the Germany solar industry of 60% with at least a million systems installed. Solar energy now represents 4% of the German energy mix with just under 20% of German electricity generation, up 3.5% on 2010. In the UK there are 30,000 people currently employed in the industry with 144,567 installations having taken place in 2011.
A survey conducted by Sharp revealed that 40% of those polled would like to see more domestic solar power appearing in their community. Lee said that this was evidence of the need for the government to realise the potential of solar thereby allowing people to generate their own electricity and adhering to UK carbon reduction targets.
As it stands, the Government has published two new consultation documents on the Feed-In Tariffs, one of which – a solar PV cost control – sets out proposals for six monthly degressions. Consultation closes on 3rd April, and as a result it’s highly likely that tariffs for solar PV will drop again from 1 July 2012.