Ben Hill, head of europe at Trina Solar, stresses that there is no need for consumers simply to sit and wait for this tidal wave of high prices to hit, as the solar PV industry in the UK continues to go from strength to strength: “Consumer choice in where we source our energy from is still in its infancy, so the public can be forgiven for not realising that they don’t have to just accept whatever their energy provider puts in their bill. Installing solar PV is a real alternative and will help residential and commercial consumers insulate themselves from the impact of the UK’s growing reliance on foreign gas,” he said.
The potential of solar PV to make a significant contribution to the UK energy mix over the coming years has recently been recognised by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The latest update to the UK Renewable Energy Roadmap saw solar PV added to its list of “key technologies”, and Hill believes recognition like this will help the industry sustain its growth through 2013: “The current level of Feed-in Tariff continues to represent good value for residential consumers, and with balance-of-system costs coming right down, rooftop panels can yield the same return on investment in percentage terms as they did before the cuts. And when you factor in the likelihood of increases to wholesale electricity prices, self-generation can offer a good deal of financial security. Untapping the full potential of the residential sector will be crucial to sustaining the upward trend of the UK market, and official recognition like this is an invaluable proof point of the importance of solar PV that will help the industry do just that,” he concluded.