As an international distributor active in the PV industry for almost 25 years, we believe that although the FIT digression inevitably impacts the UK PV market, it is not a cause for alarm and by no means heralds the end of the sector.
Looking at our experience in other countries and applying it to the young UK market I think that the UK is already leaving behind the down phase and is now in a position of growth.
The FIT mechanism has become quite stable and we now have clarity on the timescale and levels of the decreasing subsidies.
At the same time, the ROC scheme is incentivising the growth of large scale systems. Currently the market is dominated by utility scale systems on the one hand and residential installations on the other, though this last segment has seen a deep drop compared to 2012.
The trend for 2014 seems to be that residential installations will see a slight but steady growth, utility scale installations will remain stable thanks to the still favourable incentives and commercial installations will probably attract most of the installers’ interest as commercial rooftops are likely to be used for self consumption as electricity prices rise.
We are also observing a particular growth trend in agricultural sector installations. This can be attributed to experienced niche installers who understand the various requirements of different types of farms who are all seeking ways of generating additional income and saving on electricity.
This is in my opinion the scenario for 2014 but the big challenge in a period of economic instability and particularly in our industry is to be able to predict further than one year or a few months ahead.