Growth technology

Make the move: John Mussell, Power Nation, says the company has seen many PV installer move into solar thermal
With the PV market slowing down in the UK, Jon Mussell, Power Nation, explains how installers are taking a much-needed step further into renewables

With the once-buoyant PV market continuing to suffer from decreased and likely further decreasing, government incentives as well as an increasing lack of confidence from the end-user, it is unfortunate that some installers have made their exit from the renewables industry. Those who have jumped the gun and turned their back on the industry may well have missed the opportunity for growth that has, as we believe at Power Nation, begun its insurgence in the solar thermal market.

Despite the unfortunate exit of some installers, at Power Nation, we have witnessed a very positive trend of installers now actively expanding their portfolios and pursuing further opportunities within the renewables sector and in particular solar thermal, rather than retreating back to more traditional trade industries.

This is a very positive sign, and at Power Nation we have seen many PV installers move into solar thermal and in some cases choose to specialise in particular areas of solar thermal installations. We have seen a huge growth in the number of installers now focusing on pool systems, as it provides an easily calculated return on investment, as was the case with PV. Swimming pool systems tend to use gas or oil which generates substantial running costs for the user, whereas a thermal system will reduce heating load and energy consumption and even recirculate any excess heat generated to a cylinder or towel rail, making this a logical sell for the installer.

As a trade-focused wholesaler, at Power Nation we have a responsibility to ensure that we work with installers as they move towards thermal, offering straight-forward yet comprehensive technical advice as well as energy yield reports and full system schematics to ensure that installers are prepared for the job in hand.

By taking the time and investing in gaining the required thermal MCS accreditation, pursuing the opportunities in solar thermal and expanding further into the renewables market, installers can capitalise on a market that has remained largely untapped, rather than shy away entirely. With more installers expanding their offering, this is a positive and essential development for the growth of the renewables market, which will ultimately pay dividends.