To PV or not to PV?

There are many discussions going on now about adding PV into current construction projects in the UK, many social housing landlords are investigating the potential for putting PV panels on the roofs of their homes, and farmers are seeking planning permission for putting PV farms on their land. This rush for PV is prompted by two things, the feed-in-tariff and the possibility of the end of the feed-in-tariff. Most people in the renewables industry expected the feed-in-tariff to be cut in the recent comprehensive spending review and because it wasn’t cut, they fully expect it to be cut in the planned review in 2012. Hence the rush to get as much PV installed in as short a space of time as possible. All the renewables companies I speak to are having difficulty coping with the amount of feasibility work that they are being asked to do, and are concerned that when the work starts to come in, that there will neither be sufficient PV panels available coming out of the factories, nor sufficient MCS accredited companies to install the panels.
The likely result of these factors is disappointment when some installs are delayed and miss out on the higher tariffs, and low quality installations that will be likely to damage the image of the pV industry before it has really got started.

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