Rexel report predicts 8GW of solar capacity by 2016

It’s fair to say that 2012 hasn’t exactly been the greatest year for the UK solar industry, not least due to some quite severe  feed-in tariff cuts. But fear not, a new report published by Rexel brings with it some much need positivity and the prospect of a rejuvenated market, proving that solar as a renewable source of energy is far from dead and buried.

Armed with data from IMS Research the leading global electrical supplier has published a heat map and by comparing all solar panel installations in the UK to date has been able to predict that by 2016 solar capacity in this country will have grown considerably. So much so in fact, that we could rival other solar hot spots and even outperform countries like Greece and Spain.

By 2016, Rexel is predicting that 8GW of solar capacity will have been installed. Currently the UK’s installed solar capacity stands at 1.4GW. Although capacity is higher than what has been predicted for Spain and Greece, it still pales in comparison to Germany and Italy, who are leading the way with solar PV installations. The report is predicting that Germany will reach 55GW of solar capacity, with Italy achieving 25GW solar capacity.

The whole of Europe has seen and will continue to see a rise in solar installations, influenced not least by the reduction in the cost of solar modules. Due to their adverse economic conditions, the report forecasts that by 2016 Spain and Greece will have only added 3GW each of installed capacity.  The picture is much brighter though, for other European countries. If the predictions pan out in five years time, France, like the UK, will also hit 8GW of installed capacity.

Commenting on the report, the director of Rexel UK said the Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) was expected to drop by as much as 30% come the 1st April which should influence a rush of orders for large scale installations in Q1 2013.

“As energy prices continue to rise, grid parity – the peak where the cost of generating renewables is equal to or less than buying electricity from the grid – is getting closer and closer. If grid parity is reached before 2016, the UK could significantly exceed the forecast,” he added.

Although not quite a crystal ball into the future as such, Rexel’s report should provide some much needed positivity for the UK’s downtrodden solar industry as we move into a newer and hopefully more optimistic rather than pessimistic period next year.

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