Securing the 22GWp target with more than solar panel price leaps

by Solar Selections on November 8, 2012

Securing the UK's 22GWp solar target

Following on from our analysis of the 22GWp target that Greg Barker, Minister for Energy and Climate Change, recently reestablished; this article examines whether another leap in solar panel prices is possible.

Mr Barker claimed recently that 22GWp target was dependent on solar panels coming down in price further. Significantly further if you take his request for a ‘leap’ in pricing to heart. At first and looking at large reductions we’ve seen in component costs this year this does not seem an insurmountable task, but only at a surface level can we really expect such change.

The Odds of Greater Cost Reduction of Solar Panels

Dig a little deeper though and there are a few icebergs ahead. Solar panels have come down in price so much over the last 12 months in the UK the question must be do they have another ‘leap’ in them. With the plethora of reports coming out of international renewable sources reporting solar panel manufacturers selling at a loss and going out of business; this is unclear.

Solar panels are only one part of it of course, but the influx of affordable Chinese solar components has definitely helped the price of installations to end users here in the UK plummet. In addition, solar inverter manufacturers have been feeling the pinch of late, something that was unprecedented a year ago.

If solar panel manufacturers and solar inverter manufacturers have been selling in an unsustainable way, can we really expect further leaps? If we don’t, has Barker created a fail-safe with this claim? If the cost of a solar panel doesn’t continue to drop dramatically are we to excuse the 22GWp target as easily as it has been given, taken away, then given back again?

Let’s hope not. Let’s hope the reestablishment of this 22GWp target is built upon more than the unrealistic expectation that solar panels will continue to drop at previous rates. Let’s hope that the current digression model will indeed maintain a productive and attractive return in line with installation costs and that this target is achieved through a solid base level of installations rather than any more booms and busts.

22GWp is a long way off yet, so whilst Mr Barker’s latest mention of a  22GWp target is not unwelcome, more than blind hope in component value bottoming out is needed to hit these targets. The domestic scale solar market has assurance via the digression model, so let’s now secure the large scale as well.

Renewable Obligation Certificate Review

To start with, the Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) review for April 2013 can be dealt with. How about you start there Mr Barker? A reduction in the ROC multiplier from 2x to 1.5x is unjustifiable and disproportionate to installation figures. Utility scale solar when installed in accordance with council guidelines provides fantastic sources of renewable power for hundreds of homes and businesses, stimulates investment interest in the UK, shifts volumes of stock and pays the wages of installers and industry workers for sometimes months. Maintain the ROCs as they are and establish a digression model as has been done with the domestic tariffs. That way over time the deployment of large scale solar can be done on the same basis.

The ROC scheme is just the first step to ensuring we can make this target a reality. More will follow as the situation unfolds, you can respond to the DECC’s proposed plans to reduce the 1.5x multiplier for the ROC’s via their website by clicking here.

Written by Jarrah Harburn

020 7205 2267

© 2012 Solar Selections Ltd

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Solar Panel March 14, 2013 at 7:08 am

This is non-renewable sources of energy has led to make use of cheaper sources of energy. So this is the main reason why Solar Panel Systems for Homes is in popularity and now more preferable.


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