“The ROC regime is due to come to an end from April 2015 onwards for plants over 5MW, however it will continue to apply to sub 5MW projects. For projects larger than 5MW, a CfD (Contract for Difference) regime will be implemented. From our perspective, this will not slow the growth in the UK solar PV market which commentators forecast will continue to grow over the next 5 years to 2020 in order to reach the targets imposed by the European Union (i.e. 15% of energy consumption from renewables),” states Mr. Ricardo Piňeiro, Head of Solar UK with Foresight Group. He adds, “The UK market is growing on a par with other countries currently experiencing rapid solar growth, and none of these is showing signs of slowing down in the next few years.”
by Alexandra Mebane, Solarplaza
Continental Europe instigated the worldwide solar revolution, with Germany as the frontrunner for solar installations across the residential, commercial and utility scale markets. However in recent years, the European market has slowed down, allowing other growing markets such as China and the United States to surpass Europe in terms of amount of PV installed per year. What’s more the United Kingdom has seen a growth spurt in the amount of solar PV installed, putting a slight dent in Europe’s overall average yearly solar growth. Leading solar investment fund, Foresight Group, sees continued growth for UK market under the new CfD scheme.
The recent exponential growth of PV in the UK does not appear to be slowing down. According to Mr. Piňeiro, “It is generally the incentive schemes that have driven the rapid expansion of PV markets. The UK in particular first introduced its FiT regime in 2010 which was subsequently replaced by the prevailing ROC regime, and these two incentive programmes have proven to be very successful in stimulating investment and growth of the PV market.”
What does this solar market boom in the UK mean for their position within the global solar market? Mr. Piňeiro states, “We don’t expect China and the United States to create ‘solar turmoil’ within the European market. There will definitely be some players who are active in continental Europe and also in the United Kingdom, but the competition will remain the same as in other sectors.”