05 RCI 0514

RCI May 2014

EDITOR’S COMMENT UK set to become the “largest market for solar PV.” Are roofers benefiting? In 2010 the Government (Labour at the time) introduced the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) as part of its Renewables Obligation, which led to a feeding frenzy for PV installations, a saturated market in terms of systems and a multitude of solar installers doing battle in a massively overcrowded market. It was, it seemed, going to be the shot in the arm the roofing sector needed, as the once humble roof now had a crucial role to play in the fight against global warming. Unfortunately, a year on from its introduction a newly elected Government then announced a formal review of the Feed-in Tariff to look at all aspects of the scheme, including tariff levels and specifically projects over 50 kilowatt in size which were overburdening the scheme. Feed-in Tariff rates for such projects were slashed by up to 70% and further deep cuts followed with the FIT for homeowners cut from 43p per kWh to just 21p. This sent shockwaves through the industry and caused many companies to close their doors. But it seems despite all the hits it has taken, 2014 is going to be the year for UK PV market. According to NPD Solarbuzz (p.80), the UK is set to become the largest market for solar photovoltaic in Europe during 2014 thanks partly to a developing small FIT market made up of residential and sub-50kW commercial rooftops, as well as reported growth in the large rooftop market. This will be assisted by DECC’s Solar Strategy which will see rooftops of Government estates as well as factories, supermarkets and car parks turned into solar hubs. The core aims of the Solar Strategy include a target of one millon solar homes in 2015 and Greg Barker has confirmed his ambition for 20GW of solar by roughly 2020. But have we heard all this before? Back in 2011 at exhibitions, regional meetings and AGMs, it was all about solar and the importance of getting MCS-certified to make use of this huge opportunity, and many roofers will no doubt have had their fingers burned by investing and the work drying up. So you can’t blame roofers for perhaps not getting too excited over this news! But it would certainly appear there are opportunities out there and as ever, we want experienced roofers working on roofs rather than any old installer drilling into rooftops and reaping the benefits. It would be putting it mildly to call it a roller-coaster ride for the UK’s solar sector; starting so strongly, then severe cuts leading to a crash and now seemingly enjoying a renaissance. Let’s hope the market has found some sort of stability and that roofers can play a key part in this sector that not only benefits the environment, but also creates jobs and is good for the consumer. To the roofing, cladding & insulation industry 2014 RCIMAG.COM MAY 2014 05 COMING SOON Ricoh Arena, Coventry 29th - 30th of October 2014 www.rcishow.co.uk 2014 SHOW sponsored by SHOW sponsored by Matt Downs, editor 64 Triflex received a number of questions on their stand at Ecobuild relating to zero pitch or completely flat roofs, both exposed and inverted. In his article on p.64, Paul Barker looks to clear up some pre-conceptions regarding the implications of completely flat roof construction


RCI May 2014
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