Educating the end customers in the British PV market
The UK PV Briefing & Networking Forum at the conference Solar Power UK 2012 provided the framework conditions for a lively discussion on the optimization of the British photovoltaic (PV) market. High-level solar executives discussed the important questions currently circulating within the British photovoltaic market during a panel session with an audience of about 100 solar professionals in Birmingham. The UK PV Briefing & Networking Forum is part of the event series organized by the Joint Forces for Solar initiative, initiated by EuPD Research and Intersolar.
Solar experts agreed at the beginning of the event that the British PV market is still immature compared to other markets such as Germany or Italy. According to EuPD Research – the leading service provider in the analysis and evaluation of solar markets and CleanTech applications – only about 150 MW of PV are currently installed. However, Britain’s market immaturity could be used to their advantage: David Owen, CEO of Solar Media Ltd. and moderator of the panel discussion started that the UK can learn from the experiences made in more mature markets.
The importance of educating the end customer
Among other things, the main topic discussed during the panel discussion was the key selling points in the UK photovoltaic market. One important fact mentioned by participants was the education of clients with regard to energy yields. According to panel experts, the internal rate of return (IRR) is currently in double digits. This is due to substantial price reductions for systems while the feed-in-tariffs (FIT) have not changed since Q1/2010. Even if FIT’s were to be cut, as announced on October 31, 2011, the UK would still provide excellent opportunities for the private sector. However, if customers are to invest in a photovoltaic system, they must be educated on what the IRR means for them and what yields it can bring them.
Support for installers
Another question of the UK PV Briefing & Networking Forum looked at what the industry can do to help installers, a significant point considering the large number of installers in the audience. It was determined that help regarding support, software, training and marketing is of great importance. Both panelists and the audience agreed that communication between manufacturers and installers must be improved. Manufacturers need to ask installers what they can do for them and installers need to inform manufacturers what help and assistance they require. Thus, the establishment of a good service is one of the most important factors in the cooperation between both parties.
During the one-hour panel discussion a large number of important facts for the British photovoltaic market were discussed and the organizers of the event were very satisfied with the level of audience participation and the interaction between them and the panelists. Installers in particular, welcomed the Joint Forces for Solar event. Abdel I. from U Solar best described the overall feedback when he said “This was very useful!”
The organizers of this event express particular thanks to the following event sponsors: Latitude Solar, Siemens plc., Upsolar UK, GS Solar and to media partners PV-Tech.org and pv magazine as well as the conference partner Solar Power UK and founding supporter pvXchange.
First Joint Forces for Solar event in China
Intersolar China is providing the backdrop for the first Joint Forces for Solar event in China on December 8, 2011 in Beijing. At this event, all stakeholders fostering the growth of the Chinese PV market will take part and offer excellent networking opportunities. If you would like to take part or need more information, please contact Mr. Daniel Fuchs (firstname.lastname@example.org | +49 228 42966 45).
More information on the Joint Forces for Solar initiative can be found on our website: www.jointforces4solar.com
Intersolar - The World’s Leading Exhibition Series for the Solar Industry:
Intersolar abides by the guiding principle Connecting Solar Business. Intersolar is the world's leading exhibition series for the solar industry. With 20 years of experience and over 3,400 exhibitors and 110,000 visitors in 2011 spanning three continents, Intersolar has the unique ability to bring together the solar industry from the most influential markets around the world. Intersolar's global events take place in Munich, San Francisco, Mumbai and Beijing.
The organizers of Intersolar Europe are Solar Promotion GmbH of Pforzheim and Freiburg Wirtschaft Touristik und Messe GmbH & Co. KG. Intersolar North America, Intersolar India and Intersolar China are organized by the international subsidiaries Solar Promotion International GmbH of Pforzheim and Freiburg Management and Marketing International GmbH.
Über Joint Forces for Solar
Joint Forces for Solar is a global synergy of stakeholders along the solar value chain. It brings grass-roots knowledge and know-how to a global dimension. Focusing on a local goes global strategy, the scheme takes insider information gained by installers when dealing with customers on a daily basis and utilizes it to shape the future direction of the solar industry. In return, global goes local, installers benefit from access to information on the latest technological developments and changes in market trends giving them the competitive edge necessary for long-term success.
The initiative builds a bridge between the individual links of the value chain and offers a platform where opinions, ideas and expertise can be shared that ultimately strengthen the industry's growth.