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At the recent Solar Energy UK conference, Climate Change Minister Greg Barker, revealed a new government roadmap that provides a strategy to encourage the installation of as much as 20GW of new solar power capacity over the next 10 years.
“The Coalition is committed to delivering the clean and reliable energy supplies that the country needs, at the lowest possible cost to consumers. Solar PV can play a central role in meeting this challenge. It's a genuinely exciting energy technology which has already seen rapid growth and enjoys strong public support. I want this growth to continue and to help us push further ahead in the global race.”
The “Roadmap to a Brighter Future” is being released in preparation for the government’s Solar PV strategy that they will publish early next year as an attempt to increase solar’s contribution to the country’s energy grid, and help play a major role in the path to decarbonising the economy.
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The Department of Energy and Climate Change expects solar power capacity to reach 10GW by 2020, but Barker believes that this target is low. “Along with many in the industry, I think that up to 20GW of deployed solar is not only desirable but also potentially achievable within a decade. But we will only meet such an ambitious level of deployment if we all work in even closer partnership and achieve grid parity sooner.”
The generous feed-in-tariff (FIT) that the UK offers to solar customers has seen a surge in installations over the past year, however many have begun to worry that new solar farms could have a negative impact on the countryside, and waste valuable agricultural land.
Barker stated that any “new solar installations must be sensitive to public opinion and mindful of wider environmental and visual impacts,” and that whilst he does not believe the government will place a ban on solar farm developments, the new roadmap places more emphasis on onsite generation.
The Solar UK conference was also used by other industry members to announce new technologies and services. REC unveiled a new solar cell design that allows the production of cells 50% the size of its regular cells, resulting in improved efficiency.
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Luc Graré, the senior vice president for solar sales and marketing at REC, said that “the UK solar market has great potential for growth and we are confident new solutions such as this will help support large-scale adoption of solar power.”
Tata Steel also unveiled a new solar mount system at the conference that will enable lower installation costs, and more flexibility to adapt the mount for different locations and layouts.
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com
James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…