Energy and construction experts from across Europe, at a London seminar by PV distributors SunConnex and builders merchants EH Smith, remained positive about the future and growth prospects of the UK solar market.
The delegates cited the rise in energy prices and the predicted fall in module costs this year of up to 29 per cent coupled with existing government commitments to carbon reduction – particularly in the construction sector as reasons for ‘pragmatic optimism’.
The past12 months has seen DECC fast track large scale cuts to Feed In Tariffs despite stiff opposition from the PV industry and the courts. However delegates considered this to be a natural realignment with the European and wider international markets- the return on investment in the UK, even under the new August tariff, could still reach between 9 and 10 per cent. UK FITs were based broadly in the German EEG FIT scheme introduced in 2000 and originally designed to give a 5 per cent ROI.
Derek Durham, project engineer at SunConnex, said: “The original UK Feed in Tariff was actually extremely generous and frankly not sustainable. If we think of FITs as stabilisers on a bike then I believe we will soon be pedalling ourselves.”