Not good….but not all bad for solar-PV

Libra-Solar general manager in the UK Paul Bradbury says: ‘We support the longer term aim to reduce and ultimately remove subsidy support for solar PV once it is able to stand on its own feet but to reduce the feed in tariff so dramatically and hastily, and to see VAT increased to 20 per cent later in the year, does have the appearance of kicking a good man whilst he’s down.
’It will undoubtedly have a hugely negative effect on the sector. As a business, we are confident we can continue to supply the commercial solar PV needs of the UK and increasingly provide leading edge solar PV storage equipment that will enhance the ability to generate electricity off grid and use that electricity when you want to, more easily.’

What about jobs in the sector? Paul confirms: “The changes will undoubtedly see the demise of some of the cowboy installation companies that have been getting solar PV a bad name, with hopefully the more professional companies surviving to design solutions and install quality equipment properly, rather than throwing together the cheapest of everything and hoping it may deliver the generation levels they quote. There will undoubtedly be a lot of good jobs lost as a result too – many experienced and dedicated professionals will fall victim to the much smaller market with estimates ranging from 9000 to a whopping 34000.’

The costs of installing solar PV have been cut massively in recent years and the take up of solar PV in the last twelve months highlights the attractions of the technology. People understand it, and getting a kick back from Government made it very attractive. But the price of electricity will only move in one direction. In 2020, we will all be looking back at the price of electricity in 2016 and laughing. It still makes huge sense to invest in quality solar PV now, for the future. This is especially true with the development of effective storage technology such as solar storage cells. Bradbury concludes: ‘2016 will be a tough year for solar PV but it’s great technology and it won’t go away.’

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