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UK solar market 'to grow 5-fold'

The market for concentrating solar and PV solutions in the UK is set to grow rapidly

The market for solar technology in the UK is set to increase more than five-fold this year, it has been predicted.

A report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has revealed that production of photovoltaic (PV) systems will gain considerable ground on other forms of renewable energy over the coming years, with solar capacity expected to exceed 1,000 MW by 2015.

This would mean the UK market had grown by more than 30 times from its present level in the next half-decade.

However, the company noted the UK is unlikely to match solar installation levels presently seen in Germany until 2020, meaning further investment in the sector is likely to be needed if the country is to gain ground faster.

Daniel Guttmann, renewables director at PwC, said: "The significant expansion that may be just around the corner will change today's cottage industry into a much more professionally organised sector.

"The PV market will become more sophisticated with more complex products and a greater focus on accountability for system performance."

He added that the industry will need to adapt quickly over the coming months and years if it is to make the best use of this influx of interest.

Indeed, job and value creation could be two of the financial boons - besides the obvious environmental benefits - to come out of this shift towards a cleaner kind of energy production.

Leon Pierhal, chief executive officer of Opel Solar, also recently stated his belief that the future looks bright for PV solutions around the world, with the US market in particular seeing significant investment at present following a lull during the economic downturn.

Mr Pierhal noted that governments and private investors are all now looking to solar in a big way to power their future endeavours.
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