Opinion

Talking point

Zenex Solar’s managing director Liz macFarlane
Zenex Solar’s managing director Liz macFarlane

Liz MacFarlane, Zenex Solar, refutes claims that the PV sector is a male-only industry

I recently suggested that readers might challenge me to include unusual words for them to spot in this column. I was a bit disappointed when ideas included ‘Performance Induced Degradation,’ and it did make me wonder if perhaps I was being a bit too light-hearted or that my readership was dubious about my technical knowledge.  I pondered whether or not to come back at that with a piece on how Light Induced Degradation is more of an issue – just really to prove that I can.  Articles like that are common place and my role here is to cast a more approachable angle to the industry.

In fact, I read an article which suggested that UK solar excludes women. It’s probably just that most women have more sense! Professional female friends who are outside this sector are there because they choose to be. Most of them work fewer hours, earn more and spend more time with their families. I also have lots of female industry colleagues who chose to be in this sector and love it. Exclusivity doesn’t come in to it. Zenex’s team is over 50 percent women and many have diversified from other areas of our business.

It’s been a good few months for solar. Not only have we seen a vibrant Solar Energy UK exhibition (SEUK), there has also been great coverage around Lightsource’s 5MW Bentley project and soon Wolseley Plumb Centre’s 2MW NDC roof installation.

We are taking some proactive steps ourselves to grow the market. Keep your eyes peeled for Zenex Partner Projects and Zenex 0 percent Finance for Home Owners – aimed at helping our customers grow PV. I spoke to Greg Barker at SEUK about how we are helping develop the market and have been invited to a meeting at Whitehall as a result.  I’m planning on encouraging a more approachable attitude to renewables!