The solar panel industry appears to have been completely shaken up since the end of last year. The Government haven’t helped matters, creating uncertainty in the industry and cutting the feed-in tariff rates.
But as solar panel prices have dropped considerably over the last 12 months, more and more homeowners are taking advantage of the renewable energy.
So how is the solar panel industry looking as we move towards the middle of 2012?
Well for starters, Greg Barker has mentioned that he expects to see the industry grow by 10,000 jobs by 2015, because of the revised feed-in tariff. With the tariff rate at 21p/kWh and lower solar panel costs, the high demand could create more jobs in the solar panel industry.
The amount of installations has also recovered and so far in 2012 the figure stands at 20,146 solar panel systems. This has a combined total of 63.24MW of renewable energy capacity.
And Chief Executive of the Renewable Energy Association, Gaynor Hartnell, said: “Solar really deserves recognition in the Government’s renewable energy strategy.
“With the price coming down like it is, there is no reason for it not to fill a prominent part in UK energy for 2020 and beyond. It needs re-examining in light of this milestone.”
The profits and savings available to homeowners is what the solar panel industry should be focusing on, to keep the steady supply of installations.
Solar PV systems allow homeowners to:
- Generate free electricity all through the year with an environmentally friendly energy source
- Earn a steady income with the feed-in tariff, which pays for every unit of electricity produced
- See a return of investment between 10% and 15%
- Reduce their home’s carbon footprint with a natural energy supply
- Cut the dependence on fossil fuels such as gas, oil and coal
In Wrexham, a £28 million project has seen a solar site become the biggest in Europe as the county council have ensured that one in three council properties are fitted with panels.
The Wrexham council were able to complete the project before the feed-in tariff reductions in March, meaning there’ll see greater returns on their investment.
The panels will help tenants to reduce their electricity bills by as much as £300 a year, which is enough to help the poorest escape fuel poverty. The scheme will also see a reduction of 3,000 tonnes carbon dioxide emissions annually.