In a recent DECC blog, MP Gregory Baker outlined plans to bring down the costs of solar installations for consumers. In the blog post he noted the cost of solar panels and inverters has come down significantly and he has set up a ‘cost reduction task force’ with the industry to help reduce installation costs.
No further details have been given on this task force and who will be working with the government on this at the time of going to press. The move is a way of providing stability and certainty following the recent spate of cuts to the Feed in Tariffs and the delays in the launch of the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive.
However, what is concerning is the lack of information on how this task force intends to drive down solar installation costs.
John Thompson, APHC Chief Executive commented: “While we welcome the move by Greg Baker, MP, to stabilise the renewable industry with his recent blog comments, we are concerned about this Cost Reduction Task Force and how small businesses are going to be affected by this. The solar industry is becoming increasingly competitive, (you only have to look in the trade press to see the number of manufacturers and installers increasing almost monthly), and this has helped lower installation costs thus far. We are becoming increasingly concerned that many small businesses, who are already seeing their margins squeezed by the current economic conditions and various schemes, are going to be pushed too far. The choice facing many SME’s is going to be to either compete, potentially at a loss or with a lower quality of workmanship, or leave the renewable industry altogether.”
John added: “I would urge those taking part in this task force to consider all sectors of the industry before making any conclusions that could see many smaller businesses priced out of the solar installation market, especially at a time when the Government are trying to get people interested in the Green Deal.”
The full blog post is available on the DECC website: http://blog.decc.gov.uk/2012/07/20/certainty-for-feed-in-tariffs/