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Trina Predicts U.K. Solar Boom to Double Installations

Jan 29, 2013
Source: 
(Bloomberg)

U.K. solar electricity may more than double this year as a boom in solar farms and domestic installations adds 2 gigawatts of new capacity, according to Trina (TSL) Solar Ltd., the third-biggest solar cell maker.

The U.K. industry benefits from a stability that “every other country in the world pretty much envies right now,” Ben Hill, president of Trina Solar Europe, said in a Jan. 25 phone interview from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Government incentives for rooftop panels and ground-mounted farms are spurring both types of development, he said.

“The U.K.’s in a boom right now, so in the first quarter, I’d expect 800 megawatts to a gigawatt to be installed in fields,” Hill said. “We have a continual and understandable program for the next two to three years, so market players can understand what’s going to happen. We expect good growth from our residential and commercial business there.”

The comments mark a turnaround in the U.K. where ministers in 2011 cut guaranteed prices for solar power after installations increased 10-fold. That led to industry complaints about the unpredictability of policy and a legal challenge that the government lost from Solarcentury Holdings Ltd. and Homesun Ltd., which disputed the timing of the reduction.