The UK’s PV solar panel industry

To anyone who may have been pondering whether or not to install PV solar panels (photovoltaic) on their home or business, then now is the time to get your skates on.

The futures bright for homes with PV solar panels installed.

The futures bright for homes with PV solar panels installed.

This year has seen a continued government attack on the solar industry, fuelled by George Osbourne’s (conflict of interest here) connections to the North Sea oil and gas fields.

Despite the fact, that year after year of North Sea outputs dropping, our chancellor is throwing more incentives through tax relief, to companies attempting to find oil in an already exploited region of the planet.

This year has seen cut after the cut for the incentives for microgeneration technologies including PV solar panels, have meant (sorry Gordon Brown) a continuous boom after a bust for an industry trying to compete with a global market whose vision extends further than the next election.

Mr Osbourne’s vision may still be a 19th and 20th-century, but as global energy prices continue to take an extended line upward, the world’s most successful economies see solar panels as a growth technology, rather than the old world view of alternative technology.

Getting to the nitty-gritty of the situation, if China, Germany and America (to only name a few) are going full throttle down the solar panel road, then the current lack of support from our homegrown industry is puzzling at best, or damn right scary at worst.

Rant over, I must tell you how important it is for you and your family to install PV solar panels (photovoltaic) while the feed-in tariffs are still at a higher rate. The current 15.44p per kWh rate (even if you use it yourself) will be reduced again to 13p per kWh to newer adopters in November, thus still creating another rush (boom) to beat the deadline and bust (bust) once the deadline’s met.

Although the feed-in tariffs were always supposed to decline gradually as installation rates rose, the illegal and aggressive ways in which our current government has handled such a promising and necessary industry looks amateur at best or corrupt at worst.

A window of opportunity you’ll wish you hadn’t missed.

Speculation aside, the window of opportunity is still open to everyone, albeit in an insufficient time frame, so please don’t dilly dally over deciding to install solar panels. Beat the rush (again) and protect your family or business from the ravages of the international oil markets.

They say a week is a long time in politics, so a lot can happen in 25-30 years, which is the average lifespan of this solar technology. Giving yourself protection from not only the unpredictable nature of politics but also the inevitable rise of energy costs can just be a good thing.

If our oil-lubricated world continues to revolve unhampered, then you have wowed your neighbours and increased the value of your property while giving yourself 1980s sized energy bills. Not a sick secondary benefit, especially when you take into the fact that your energy company will be sending you money for the electricity you have already used.

A triple win situation for years to come.

Welcome to the PV solar panel century, but don’t dilly dally.

"Light is life."

Stuart Lovatt 2012-09-14
Founder of Power My Home.