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SOLAR


UK SOLAR MARKET RANKS EIGHTH INWORLD


The UK solar market is the eighth- largest market in the world, according to new figures released by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA). Global installations climbed by 70 percent from last year to 27.7GW, with the UK contributing an impressive 700MW of capacity. This news follows on from Solar Power Portal’s own estimates, which placed the UK in among the world’s top 10 at the beginning of this year.


‘EPIA also predicts that over 60 billion kilowatt hours of energy will be produced in Europe from solar installations every year.’


According to the figures, Europe accounted for 75 percent of all new capacity, with Italy and Germany accounting for nearly 60 percent of global market growth during the past year. In total six global markets broke the 1GW barrier of installed capacity, half of which were in Europe.


The total output of all capacity installed in 2011 was equal to 80 billion kilowatt hours, which is enough to cover the annual power supply needs of over 20 million households. EPIA also predicts that, with the expected contribution from southern European countries, over 60 billion kilowatt hours of energy will be produced in Europe from solar installations every year.


However, harsh economic conditions in Europe have caused solar incentive schemes to be drastically cut across the


continent. The pan-European cuts are expected to drastically dampen European demand.


Ingmar Wilhelm, EPIA President, explained: “Whilst European markets have always outpaced home production, this will presumably no longer be the case in the years to come. New markets around the world will have to be opened up to drive PV development in the coming decade just as Europe accounted for it during the last decade. Strengthening the PV momentum by adding additional markets of important growth can be considered the single most important achievement on the continued growth track of world-wide PV development.”


To read more news, log onto www.clearview-uk.com and join in our Forum discussions.


DECC LINKS FIT RATES TO EPD CERTIFICATE LEVEL D


In its response to the consultation on recent FiT cuts, DECC announced on 9th February its intention to make energy efficiency measures part of the requirement when installing a photovoltaic system in the UK.


Specifically, the Department is intending to proceed with a requirement based on EPC level D that will apply to both domestic and non-domestic buildings. DECC has continually reiterated claims that it “wants to ensure that solar PV is considered as part of a holistic approach to carbon reductions in buildings that prioritises energy efficiency.”


DECC estimates that 51 percent of all domestic properties in the UK are already rated at EPC level D or above. Around 65 percent of non-domestic buildings are estimated to be rate at EPC level D or above.


The new energy efficiency requirement will apply to all new solar PV systems with an eligibility date on or after April 1, 2012. At present, it is not known whether the solar PV installation will contribute in itself to raising


the EPC level. However, as a FiT application will have to include a valid EPC certificate as supporting evidence, it is unlikely that this will be the case.


To help customers meet the increased cost


of reaching EPC level D, some financial support may be available from the Carbon Emissions Reductions Target (CERT) scheme and, from autumn 2012, measures will be largely financeable through the Green Deal.


Systems installed on properties with an EPC rating lower than D would only be eligible for a lower tariff, namely 9p/kWh.


‘DECC’s Impact Assessment estimates that the introduction of a level D efficiency requirement will dampen market demand by 40 percent in 2012/13, 25 percent in 2013/14 and have no effect in 2015/16’


However, if generators can demonstrate that it is not possible to obtain an EPC certificate for the building, it will be exempt from the energy efficiency requirement.


Following the announcement, Greg Barker


invited solar industry representatives to a round table discussion to gauge reaction. The Minister does appear to be convinced that solar can now play a key role in helping Britain meet its climate targets. Barker reiterated his commitment to see 22GW of solar capacity installed in the UK by 2020. Under ‘Option B’, cumulative installs by 2015 will amount to 4.3GW. He expects a further 3.5GW of solar to be installed before the end of the Coalition term.


It would seem that despite earlier


misgivings, solar is being positively considered as a major contributor to the UK renewable energy mix.


To read more news, log onto www.clearview-uk.com and join in our Forum discussions.


Clearview NMS « February 2012 « www.clearview-uk.com » 81


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