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Will PV panels become cheaper for the UK?

UK renewable energy developers predict that state support for solar power in China will result in even further price reductions in photovoltaic panels in the UK. China, the world's largest energy consumer, has recently announced a nationwide feed-in-tariff (F-i-T) scheme to accelerate the development of its solar energy industry.

Will PV panels become cheaper for the UK?

The Chinese used feed-in-tariffs to develop the biggest wind power industry in the world and they intend to increase their solar capacity by 1000% over the next five years.

"China has created a plethora of multi-billion pound cleantech companies and they are driving value and efficiency into the production of standard crystalline silicon modules at an unprecedented rate," explained Lee Summers, Director of EOS Energy. "Their problem is that their companies will be overproducing solar panels because of the slowdown in European and US markets. Their answer is to stimulate a huge domestic market for solar so that they can continue to sustain jobs and profits in that sector."

Germany and Italy have recently reduced their solar feed-in-tariffs and the Department of Energy and Climate Change slashed their support for large-scale land-based developments earlier this year.

Summers went on to say that the good news for Britain's solar developers was that the introduction of the Chinese solar feed-in-tariff would have the effect of continuing to drive down prices of solar panels globally.

"The sheer scale of the manufacturing output of the Chinese solar industry is driving down prices," stated Summers. "Currently more than half of all the solar panels produced in the world are made in China. It is true to say that the Germans are leading the way in the development of new solar technologies and the deployment of solar but the Germans are struggling to keep up on the cost reduction front leading to increased market share being gained by the Chinese manufacturers.”

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