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Find out more about Solar PV market opportunities

Solar PV experts are predicting that the UK will follow in Europe’s footsteps and experience significant market growth following the introduction of the new feed-in tariffs (FITs).

According to a recent report, published by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association, Germany continues to dominate the European PV market with 68% market share, followed by Italy and the Czech Republic. Belgium and France both showed steady growth throughout 2009 whilst Spain’s market appeared to slow because of the recession. Trailing along at the bottom of the league table is the UK with installations totalling just 22 MW in 2009.
However, in April, the UK Government introduced the new FITs to encourage households and businesses to install renewable energy systems such as solar PV. With this solid foundation, the UK solar PV market looks set for substantial growth.

Giuliano Digilio, of the Electrical Contractors' Association, (ECA) believes that the potential for solar PV is huge, but that the current economic climate may keep the UK at the bottom of the solar PV league table. He said: "In three years time I don't think the UK will have drastically improved its position within the solar league tables. This is due to the current climate where people are reluctant to spend money, and also, with payback periods at eight to ten years, it's still expensive – especially for the domestic market. However, I believe solar PV has huge potential and is the most viable source of renewable energy that is available in the UK, and the feed-in tariffs will have a positive effect, helping to drive PV adoption.
“We're not going to overtake more advanced countries like Germany, Spain and Italy, but within five years, I think the UK solar PV market will be very different with more installations and greater investment."

Ray Noble, of the Renewable Energy Association, is more hopeful. He said: “The interest generated by the FITs in the UK is exceeding all expectations. The unique FIT, with the Generation Tariff, kept separate to the use or export of the electricity, has resulted in some very innovative funding arrangements including ‘Free PV’. The banks, finance institutions and pension funds are actively supporting the large number of projects, which include complete housing estates, large roofs and ground-mounted systems, all at the 5 MWp end of the scale. At last, a very exciting time for solar power in the UK.”

The UK PV conference takes place on 22 June 2010 at Central Hall, Westminster, London, where speakers will examine solar market potential, investment opportunities, regulatory issues and technology developments. The conference aims to bring together entrepreneurs, investors, financiers, property developers, utilities operators and electrical contractors to learn, discuss and network. The event is being organised by Solarplaza.
The UK PV Conference host, Edwin Koot, CEO at Solarplaza, said: “With the introductions of the FITs there is now a solid foundation for solar PV to take off in the UK and we are confident that the UK will be successful in its adoption of solar PV, and that it will present a range of compelling business opportunities. Presentations at the event will be given by UK law makers, regulators, industry experts, financiers and other major solar stakeholders.”
Delegates can register to attend the conference at

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