What Does The Future Hold For Solar Photo-Voltaics In The UK Post The Feed-in Tariff?
What does the future hold for Solar Photo-Voltaic’s in the UK post Feed in Tariff?
The Feed In Tariff (FiT) is scheduled to close to new applicants on the 31st March 2019. What does this mean for the future of solar PV in the UK? As one of many interested parties we attempt to gaze into the future and predict how this big change will affect growth or decline of solar PV installation.
For anyone stumbling across this article and starting their solar PV journey, the FiT was launched in 2010 to support the deployment of Solar electric panels in the UK. It is a tariff scheme which pays PV owners for generating eco-friendly electricity. If you’ve not been on the ‘Solar-coaster’, its been one hell of a ride! Let’s just say the PV market was boom and bust for a good 5 years. Mainly due to poor management of the FiT by the government, however it was an emerging market in the UK and as such everyone (installers, government, suppliers and end users alike) were finding their feet.
Eight years on and the FiT which has stimulated a whole industry from practically nothing is closing. Can we, as a solar installation company and you as prospective solar PV consumers look to the future with hope?
Yes We Can!
Without the Feed In Tariff the UK would not have a solar PV industry. So, for that we must be thankful. However, hasn’t come without complications and hinderances. Below we have a look at ways that PV will survive and hopefully flourish in the post FiT era.
PV Costs Are Falling
A major factor in the continued success of Solar PV in the UK and worldwide is the fact the prices have tumbled. An installation today is roughly 60% less than the launch of the FiT. The UK is also part of the European minimum import price limit. When we leave the EU this could mean further price drops. This opens the PV market up to a wider audience who may be able to install a PV system for the price of a gas boiler. Watch this space.
You don’t need us to tell you that energy costs are increasing. British gas have increased prices twice this year already, the others will follow suit.
Electricity Prices Are Rising
The fact electricity prices are rising does not seem to slow the UK and global demand for electricity. Homes and businesses are using more and more electricity every day and the current electrical infrastructure can’t cope. More investment in energy generation in general is required and PV will form part of that offering.As electricity prices get to 20p per kWh in the coming years generating your own electricity is going to become a necessity!
Electricity Demand is Increasing
The fact electricity prices are rising does not seem to slow the UK and global demand for electricity. Homes and businesses are using more and more electricity every day and the current electrical infrastructure can’t cope. More investment in energy generation in general is required and PV will form part of that offering.
The Electric Vehicle Revolution
To add to the ever increasing electricity demand the world is undergoing a change to electric vehicles. This will dramatically increase the requirement of electricity globally. A great way to take advantage of Solar Generation is to charge your EV.
Battery Storage Is Gaining Popularity
Whilst generating green energy from solar panels is great, being able to store it when it is not required is a huge benefit. Battery storage and Solar PV go hand in hand and with the falling costs of both technologies they will soon be in many homes in the UK.
The Housing Crisis and Planning Regs
The UK is undergoing a house building boom, well it at least feels that way with all the construction going on. Part L of UK building regulations require certain energy efficiency measures are installed to meet the regs. As a result you will notice small solar PV systems (sometimes only 2 panels ☹) installed across new housing estates. With the trend of building regs forcing the increase in energy efficiency of new homes we are hopeful that larger PV systems will be a requirement of all new planning applications.
What About Solar PV Right Now?
All the above aside, there is still a feed in tariff for all new applications until March 2019 paying around 4p/kWh. It lasts for 20 years and also includes a deemed export tariff of 5p/kWh for 50% of PV generation.
Whilst there are clear opportunities for PV to thrive in the post Feed in Tariff era, if you are considering a PV install we would recommend getting it whilst the tariff is available.