"New Pathways" For Solar? | The Eco Experts Blog
Author: Amy Catlow
Published: Tuesday, 21 June 2011
A recent report from Ernst & Young reveals that the solar panel retail prices are likely to drop to less than 50% of their 2009 cost by 2013. This is dramatic price decrease is attributed to efficiency savings in production cost of raw materials.The report findings are based on in depth industry analysis from energy brokers and speculation analysts who monitor the energy and raw material market carefully. As the costs traditional energy supplies continue to rise this report is encouraging news for consumers and the Government alike as the carbon emission target to produce over 35% of power from renewable sources by 2020 looks unlikely at the current rate.
The report commissioned by the Solar Trade Association (STA) offers some comfort after recent changes to the Government's FIT scheme dealt a blow to large scale solar production by capping the benefits available for microgeneration at 50 kW. Following a review of the FIT scheme which saw the cap coming into place, 64 companies wrote an open letter to the government stating that cutting or capping the tariffs would represent an "unprecedented and confidence shattering intervention" and would turn away investors hampering large scale solar production.
Howard Johns, chairman of the STA, welcomes the report which confirms the green lobby and solar industry position that more government backing, not less, makes sound economic sense. Investment in solar now will clear the way for unsubsidised cost competitive solar in the future. 'This reinforces the case we have laid out and comes from an independent consultancy'
The Government has yet to comment on the report but have remained relatively sceptical about the economic benefits of solar, announcing that solar energy is still too expensive to produce efficiently and that purchasing more power from overseas is preferential. The Government minisiter Greg Barker has stated that Britain's current position is underestimating the solar market and he hopes to find 'new pathways' to aid large-scale solar projects.
Yesterday, Barker out promoting the 'Green Deal' at the Royal Society, claimed that it was 'largest and most ambitious home improvement programme our country has seen since the second world war'.
Hopefully Greg Barker can back up these claims with concrete policy.