In a report issued by Energy Matters the UK has stepped to the forefront of the European solar photovoltaic market in Europe and is putting Australian efforts to shame.
The British renewable energy industry is estimated to be supporting in excess of 100, 000 jobs. A report by the Renewable Energy Association (REA) indicates that this market sector has attracted close to £30 billion of private sector investment since 2010.
Interestingly it seems that the corporate, retail and manufacturing giants have had a “light bulb moment” with most of the solar panel installations in the UK at their sites.
A statement in NPD SolarBuzz confirms that more than 325 solar farms, each in the megawatt (MW) class, would have been completed by April this year. Stunningly more than 60 of the 325 installation has a planned capacity exceeding 10MW!
But while the UK has plans to expand with an additional 444 large-scale solar photovoltaic facilities planned and 124 more applications awaiting approval; much sunnier Australia is dragging its feet says RenewEconomy’s Giles Parkinson who is puzzled that sun-soak Australia has a single solar farm at a megawatt scale.
Perhaps the lack of interest can be attributed to the undecided future of the Renewable Energy Target (RET) which remains under review in Australia and could see the withdrawal of government subsidisation of these installation. Australian Solar Council CEO John Grimes states in the RET Review that, “(the RET is) heading to a biased and predetermined outcome; which threatens billions of dollars investment and thousands of current and future jobs in the solar sector.”
“It’s not just large scale solar in the shadow of the grim reaper; residential solar also faces uncertainty. In a worst case scenario, if all subsidisation was removed it would add thousands of dollars onto the cost of an average solar panel system.”