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Well Designed Feed in Tariffs leads to Mini Solar Energy Boom in United Kingdom

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United Kingdom has been a laggard in climate change and global warming issues especially compared to its European neighbours.While countries like Italy,Germany and Spain have installed gigawatts of solar energy , UK has installed a measly 32 MW of solar energy till 2009.While UK’s geographical location is not particularly suited for solar energy,Germany does not have better suited areas.However Germany is the biggest solar energy market in the world due to its generous and stable feed in tariffs for solar energy.This is set to change with the United Kingdom implementing Feed in Tariffs (FIT) from April 2010.The program has already seen some success with a large number of applications from residential and commercial customers flooding the regulatory agency Ofgem.

UK’s Feed in Tariffs Well Designed to Support Distributed Small Rooftop Installations

United Kingdom has learned from its neighbors so that its FIT has led to a boom from distributed small installations rather than a few large ground installations which benefit large investors.An examination of the Ofgem data shows that the average size of the solar installations is between 2-3 KW which is markedly less  than the global average.UK’s farmers and commercial establishments like retailers have taken advantage of the scheme as well.United Kingdom has been known for its large offshore wind farms in the Green Energy area.However this well designed policy promises to put United Kingdom in the Solar Energy Map as well.At 5 MW of installations per month UK seems well on its way to install around 100 MW in 2010.However as past experience with Spain and other countries show,solar demand growth is generally underestimated and it may far exceed that in 2010 and 2011 as falling module prices makes returns attractive for installers.

British Subsidies Trigger ‘Solar Revolution’ Under Rainy Skies – Bloomberg

The U.K., known for rain and gray skies, enjoyed record installations of solar panels in July after the government guaranteed prices for electricity from renewable energy up to 10 times market rates.

Photovoltaic panels with the capacity to generate 4.6 megawatts were fitted last month, energy regulator Ofgem said on its website. That’s more than in the whole of 2009, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which forecasts the nation’s solar market will increase 12-fold this year.The government on April 1 introduced feed-in tariffs that fix above-normal prices for electricity from small installations of wind, solar and hydro power. Companies from the German utility E.ON AG to Tesco Plc, the biggest U.K. supermarket, have entered the market. Sharp Corp. is doubling production at its solar cell factory in Wales, which is the biggest in Britain.

“The solar revolution is coming,” said Serge Younes of the industry consultant WSP Environment & Energy. “There are a lot of roofs in the south of the U.K. and a lot of land.”According to Ofgem, 11.3 megawatts of PV were fitted in the first four months of the tariffs’ existence, enough to supply 26,000 homes. That tops the 4 megawatts installed in 2009 and 4.4 megawatts in 2008.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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