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Climate Minister Predicts Increase In Solar Panel Installations

Greg Barker, who is the Climate Change Minster, forecasts that the level of solar panel installations will increase over the next few years as manufacturing costs come down. Added to this is the feeling that more homeowners and business owners will realise the benefits that can be achieved by way of energy bills and carbon emissions dropping.  However, this will only happen if both the government and the solar panel industry make the public aware that the industry is on a firm footing.

Greg Barker
(image credit: DECCgovuk)

He spoke at BRE’s new National Solar Centre’s launch. He accepted that the solar power industry had gone through a difficult period of 18 months due to the difficult decision the government had to take by reducing the feed in tariffs (FIT). In fact a number of solar panel businesses are taking the government to court to try to obtain damages due to the impact of the changes to the feed in tariff.

He pointed out that the government had no alternative but to take that course of action as the feed in tariff scheme would have significantly exceeded its budget. The scheme was now on a stable footing enabling the solar power industry to move forward with confidence.

He is of the opinion that solar power provides an excellent deal with the purchase price of a solar panel system having dropped substantially. He made the observation that the rates of return achievable within the latest bands are similar to those of 2010 when the feed in tariff scheme was brought in to operation.

Installed solar capacity presently stands at 1.8GW and Mr Barker believes that it is possible to increase this capacity to in excess of 20GW by 2020. It would appear that the solar panel sector was improving following a sluggish last six months in 2012 as there have been 1,500 solar panel installations last week with a total capacity of 5MW.

It will be interesting to see how the next few months go as far as new installations are concerned.

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