Although such an opening statement regarding the solar power market at the moment will likely raise allot of conjecture their is a renewed sense of optimism amongst manufacturers to the UK and globally given their output levels continue to rise. From a government stand point their maybe criticism we have regularly reported on the increasing amount of private investment that continues within the UK solar PV market.
Why Have Solar Installers Been increasing Their Orders More Regularly
While companies who attribute a certain degree of their cash flow to government projects have been critical of their indecision and the knock-on effect other companies continue to proper. While a certain degree of this can be placed on the growing domestic market you also have large equity firms looking into solar now more than ever, as we reported recently stocks in solar companies have grown dramatically over the last 2 years and it appears that private investors have taken note.
Solar Manufacturing Is Up
Just this week one of the largest solar PV manufacturers Yingli Green Energy have announced they have been distributing more solar modules than ever before in one case alone they have distributed over 40,000 modules to a UK company. With the manufacturer itself claiming they expect the UK market to be their most significant supply chain across the whole of Europe this coming year. While many may disagree with the manufacturer claims that the potential capacity within the UK will see it meet it’s 2020 renewable objectives. Skeptics may point to the fact that it one thing to export solar panels and rather another to have them installed.
Does The Isle Of Sheppy Install Mark A Significant Development With Solar In The UK
While the capacity of the project and the use the 10,000Mwh will produce for the local community (approx electric to over 2,500 homes) it is more the manner that the whole project is being managed that could be rather more of a significant point. The project is to be managed by Bluefield Solar Income Fund and more interesting is the fact they they are the first stock exchange listed fund and so the way the company conducts itself will be very interesting to monitor in the coming months.
Could More Solar Funds Be Listed On The Stock Exchange
Given the growing appetite from private equity firms to invest in solar stocks at present this is highly likely. The BSIF itself now has been increasing it solar holdings with investments and purchases alone in 2013 resting at approx £150M.
How Does The UK Compare To Other Nations Investing In Solar
While the above reading may show our industry in a progressively growing light it has a long way to go to come close to the USA and the level of investment they ascertain be it government and private. With the recent opening of the Ivanpah facility in California there are also many other impressive projects being carried out within America including some of the following. The Chevron project which will save the Sutter area of California focusing on energy and water with an array of solar generation facilities being installed it will reduce the regions energy costs by close to 80% for its lifetime. When looking into solar investment one case that stands out amongst other is the commitment by Duke Renewable Energy who have acquired various sites and while also building their own facilities they will soon manage over 65 MW in California.
Can The UK Compete With Other Nations Solar Investment
While such a debate will always return to scale and budget with comparative nations, the issue is clear given the recent damning report on the state of the UK’s meeting of the 2020 targets that more needs to be done. While over the last couple of weeks there have been encouraging signs from the UK government with deals such as that with the Israeli government. But given the current appetite and optimism around the solar PV industry it’s hoped by many that the government will encourage the market to grow further whether this be through support or incentives to new projects time will tell. What will be clear is the UK governments position on renewable targets in the coming weeks when they return to the EU to discuss further the binding 2030 targets.
Some previous related articles of interest:
Will further power station closures lead to greater investment in renewable enegry
The Japaneese model for commercial solar panel success
Has the most efficient solar panel been produced in the UK