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UK Government's 2020 solar targets achievable if commercial sector wakes up
by Staff Writers
San Jose CA (SPX) May 05, 2014

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Trina Solar has set out that the commercial sector could drive the UK to 3GW in 2014, bolstering chances of meeting the government's goal of 20GW by 2020. Speaking at the Large Scale Solar UK event in Kelham, Nottinghamshire, Richard Rushin, UK Sales Director at Trina Solar and STA Board Member, explained that the UK solar industry could be in for a bumper year in 2014 if it can unlock the vast potential in the commercial sector.

"The UK solar market is going from strength-to-strength in all sectors. 2013 was a really exciting year for UK solar, with around 1.45 GWs deployed. Conservative estimates for 2014 suggest that we will hit 2.5GW by the end of the year, but if the commercial space picks up, which we believe it will, we could be in line to reach 3GW.

To put this into context, this would make the UK market bigger than Germany and the largest in Europe, driving the UK one or two places up the global rankings. Looking forward to 2020, we can see continued momentum, and believe that the UK industry can reach the 20GW target set by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

"Meeting this figure, however, depends upon the industry's ability to overcome a number of barriers. We need to ensure the right balance on the grid, between residential, large scale and commercial deployments, and while we continue to have very healthy large scale and residential deployments, the commercial sector has yet to fully take off. This is something that must be rectified.

"We need attractive financial incentives at a governmental level, but the industry itself also needs to better understand what the drivers are in the commercial space, and understand the relationship between leaseholders and the actual owners of the property. For example, what are the legal and practical barriers to commercial arrays, who gets the energy, who uses it, and who should make the cost-savings?

"Encouragingly, there is work underway by the government to bring clarity and certainty to the commercial space, who have pledged to planning authorities, property owners and the solar industry to "cut red tape and sweep away barriers to making use of empty industrial spaces" to ease the path to solar deployments in the commercial space.

"In light of this, I believe that 2014 will be the year for commercial installations, and once we have some high profile examples of large-scale commercial installations, I'd predict something of a snowball effect, with many more following suit."

Richard went on to say that new technologies will play a vital role in helping the UK solar industry drive its outputs, making the solar PV proposition more attractive to the commercial sector:

"We need to be continually improving the overall value of solar PV in the first place as the commercial sector is, by nature, highly attuned to costs and outputs.

"Increasingly innovative panels that can offer enhanced energy efficiencies and a long term investment will therefore be crucial for driving take-up in the sector. Trina Solar has built its business on providing high-quality, innovative products and value-add services to the market, and on maintaining a position as a prudent and reliable partner.

"We recently introduced Trinasmart to the UK, which stands a differentiator for us in the market. Trinasmart is a performance optimiser integrated into Trina Solar's monocrystalline Honey M module range. It enables the monitoring and control of arrays at a modular level and increases system performance by up to 20 per cent, and it is this kind of innovation that will add to the overall appeal of the solar PV industry to the commercial sector."


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