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UK 'a leader in European solar power deployment'

UK 'a leader in European solar power deployment'

UK 'a leader in European solar power deployment'

Europe's solar market increased by 15 per cent last year, according to trade body SolarPower Energy (SPE), with the UK responsible for nearly half of the take-up.

SPE has said that the UK looks set to remain Europe's leading market for solar energy, with Germany following closely behind, according to various reports.

Business Green has asked if the UK can indeed maintain its position as the majority provider for solar power in Europe.

James Watson, chief executive at SPE believes that it is possible as the increase in the European market was based on the foundation of a strong UK market, as reported by Solar Power Portal.

Figures from Solar Intelligence shows that the UK installed just under 4GW of solar PV throughout 2015, particularly in the last quarter of the year. Head of market intelligence at Solar Media stated that in total the UK deployed 805MW of PV during Q4 of last year, which brought its overall total up to 3.906GW.

Not only was this a record amount for the year, it was also the largest figure recorded during any other fourth-quarter timeframe.

There are disputes over the amount that the UK actually provided however, with the SPE working off a slightly smaller number of 3.5GW. Despite this, the UK still ranks as the biggest provider in Europe's stake of solar deployment in last year, as this smaller figure still translates to 44 per cent of the market.

Speaking to PV-Tech, Mr Watson spoke highly of the UK's involvement in solar deployment, saying: "I've got a gut feeling that the UK could still be number one in 2016, depending on how many of those projects in the pipeline actually are released."

He continued: "Even if this figure totals 1.5GW, I reckon the UK could still be the biggest market again. We might see a little rebound in the German market, partly because of the KSW renewal of support for storage systems."

Mr Watson added that solar is "competitive for residential and commercial applications in most European countries today, [and] investors need a secure political framework for generation, self-consumption and storage of solar energy".

The residential interest in solar energy is why multinational company Ikea began selling solar panels in its UK stores, reports The Guardian.

Ikea's UK head of sustainability at the time Joanna Yarrow said: "We know that our customers want to live more sustainably and we hope working with Hanergy [Ikea's technology partner] to make solar panels affordable and easily available helps them do just that."

However, the company has recently stopped selling solar panels in its UK stores after cuts to government solar power subsidies.

Ikea is aiming to restore its green credentials with a new business model and hopes to be reselling solar panels in its UK stores again soon.

Although the UK's solar deployment performance for last year was its best yet recorded and it's projected to continue, it and Europe's performance was left lagging behind other world markets.

It was outperformed significantly as global grid-connected solar increased by over 25 per cent to 50GW, leaving room for improvement in the UK and wider European market.

 

Posted by William Rodriguez