The introduction of the feed-in tariff (FIT) has sparked a swift response from the small-scale U.K. renewable energy market, with solar installations rapidly increasing to over twice the level in 2009 in just six months due to a beneficial tariff rate, according to a new report from market research firm Greenbang.
The U.K. has been ranked at the bottom of renewable energy rankings for the past decade, but it is now catching up due to the FIT policy encouraging domestic, commercial and community installations.
However, the U.K. market is inadequately prepared to fully utilize FIT policy in the critical first two years, while the tariff rate is at its maximum level, Greenbang says. This weakness is affecting the small-scale wind and hydro markets more so than the solar market.
Expected future market growth in the next decade will vary from sector to sector, although the key period of growth will occur in the next two years as companies exploit the FIT at its highest rate.
‘The rate of installations is expected to peak after 18 months, and so the key period of growth is within that time, meaning that solar has really taken the lead,’ says Raphael Raggatt, lead author of the research. ‘However, there is great potential for the whole of the small-scale U.K. renewable energy market, as it is an ideal location for all of the technologies supported by the scheme.’