Despite global oversupply and plummeting demand for PV modules and components, the UK solar market is still experiencing large install figures and has had an explosive year with 900% growth. Over 300MW has already been installed and forecasts suggest that 550MW could be deployed by the end of the current FiT period.
Distributors and manufacturers in Europe with excess inventory in warehouses are looking to the UK to push products into a new growth market with promising future prospects. The catch is that the UK operates a separate certification scheme for products called MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme); therefore, all products used to install solar must be certified for the installation to receive the feed-in tariff.
Commenting on the state of the UK market, Ray Noble, PV specialist and REA & STA consultant, said, “Times are tough in the PV sector but there is still demand for modules and BOS components if you know where to look. The UK’s market is going from strength to strength at the moment; we’re seeing great growth in spite of the downturn that’s going on in some of the major markets”.
The UK’s largest solar exhibition and conference, Solar Power UK 2011, takes place in Birmingham at the end of October and presents an opportunity for manufacturers and distributors to target the burgeoning UK marketplace. Representatives from the MCS scheme will be there to help companies understand how their products can be assessed and certified for use in the UK market, and all major distributors and installers will be represented at the show.