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Delegates give thumbs up to PV

Derek Durham, SunConnex’s project engineer

Energy and construction experts from across Europe remain positive about the outlook for the UK solar PV market, was the message to emerge from a recent seminar organised by PV distributors SunConnex and builders merchants EH Smith.  

Delegates cited rising energy prices, government incentives and falling module costs as key reasons for ‘pragmatic optimism’. During the sessions attendees also agreed that the market should be strengthened by the use of Renewable Obligation Certificates and the industry should be working with DECC and legal advisors to to derive maximum benefit from Power Purchase Agreements to fund large scale solar farms.

Derek Durham, SunConnex’s project engineer, said: “The original UK Feed-in Tariff (FiT) 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 peddling ourselves.”

EH Smith’s sustainability director, John Cave, added: “Construction is the UK’s biggest contributor to carbon emissions. The government has pledged to cut overall emissions 80 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels and by 2016 every new building will have to have a renewable energy source. The use of Energy Performance Certificates will be hugely important, in terms of laying the basis for a taxation based on carbon and PV can certainly lead the way in providing solutions.

“The much reported Green Deal is also important. Whilst it is not a silver bullet, as a funding mechanism it will unlock a demographic of the population as prospective customers.”

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