‘Trouble ahead’ for UK solar PV industry

Andrew McTear, co-founder of McTear Williams & Wood, said that the results of the recent CfD round demonstrated the “vulnerability” of the UK solar market and how tough the investment market is now becoming.

“After March, promoters trying to develop projects above 5MW who were unsuccessful in the CfD auction will have to wait another year just to know where they stand,” McTear said.

Five solar projects were successful in DECC’s CfD auction, however there is considerable doubt that some will ever be built because of their uneconomical strike prices. Hadstone Energy’s Wick Farm Solar Park and Royston Solar Farm were both put forward at strike prices of £50/MWh, leading some within the industry to question whether the policy had been a success.

And Michael Freitag of construction firm Ludwig Freitag Elektro said the UK was at risk of experiencing a slide similar to that witnessed in Germany when subsidies for large-scale projects were withdrawn.

“Once again some developers seem to have been over ambitious in what they can deliver and could face onerous penalties for failure,” he said.

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