Where do we go from here?

Mariana Hall, vice-president of Phono Solar Europe, asks what the future looks like for PV and renewable energy

There is no doubt that recent events in our industry have caused serious consideration among manufacturers and installers. Regrettable and inevitable Feed-in Tariff (FiT) cuts have, perhaps too soon, pushed our industry into new, unknown territory. Uncertainty continues to grow as the industry asks whetherUKhouseholds will embrace PV when the motive of profit is lessened.     

Where do we go from here? What do we need to look to, as an industry, to bring us out of uncertainty? At Phono Solar we’re convinced that innovation and diversification are essential forour future.

A viable renewable energy solution has always necessitated a number of technologies that co-exist together. It would be naive to suggest that PV in and of itself holds the answer to the world’s energy needs. Given that the future of energy involves complementary technologies, are we, as manufacturers, ready to embrace diversification? Moreover, are we ready to lead through bold and creative PV solutions?

At Phono Solar we’ve made various steps to try and accomplish these two aims. In 2007, our wind division began manufacturing micro-turbines, which we now distribute to Europe, the Middle East, and theUSA. Phono Wind turbines form part of on-grid, off-grid, and smart micro-grid systems that we put in place around the globe.

Innovation will also be a necessity forsurvival and profitability in today’s uncertain climate. The recent unveiling of the Phono Solar Enercube demonstrates that storage is an area we’re focusing on. Even with the Green Deal on the horizon in theUK, assuming the FITs continue to drop throughoutEurope; the clearest challenges in storage are not efficiency, but affordability and profitability.

Of course, there is also our new AC Solution that we are developing with Enphase Energy forresidential and commercial solar projects.  This will not only reduce installation costs but will improve energy production.  We’re always looking to do more – whether it’s inventive testing methodsornew financing schemes aroundEurope, we hope that new technology will play its part in convincing both customers and governments of the feasibility of our solution.