Friday, March 2, 2012

The Solar Panel Boom… Is it about to crash? - Guest Post

This Article is a Guest Post.

It’s fair to say that over the past decade solar panels have become more popular then ever before, the introduction of incentives meant that consumers found solar panels irresistible – they provided the perfect solution. Consumers found that solar panels would provide a way to save money, generate income, increase property value and apart from the financial benefits they were a way to do their bit for the environment. At this point there was one question on every consumer’s mind; why wouldn’t I think about having a solar panel installation? I am now worried that this question has reverted to the old question; why should I think about having solar panels installed?
The reason I am worried that consumers are now loosing interest in solar panels is simply down to the reduction of the feed-in-tariff in the UK. This incentive (in my opinion) was the back bone of the solar industry, it gave consumers reason to invest in solar panels and I believe you will agree with me when I say that an investment with a reduced return will be less lucrative to potential buyers and this is the exact case with solar panels.
Although I believe the reduced rates are actually not bad at the moment, its set to change in the next few months as that tariff is set to see another reduction. A reduction that I believe may have catastrophic consequences. As well as the further reduction consumers will require EPC certificates before any installation goes ahead, at a cost to the customer. It seems that the government is continuing to place objects in the way thus making it harder for anyone to even consider having such an installation.
There not a lot that anyone can really do, two appeals and a few court cases later and we (as an industry) are no further forward. I completely understand that with the current economic climate its hard to find the funds the reduction in incentives is only going to be worse. Job losses have already increased since the change and some leading installation companies have reduce their work force by a considerable amount.
There are two simple questions I would like to ask the UK Government. If or when our economic situation is no longer a situation, will the Feed-in-Tariff for Solar Pv be increased? And can we expect the same situation of reductions with the Solar Thermal RHI?

This Article is a Guest Post.

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