(ADPnews) – Sep 16, 2010 – Lured by a lucrative feed-in tariff (FiT), German microgeneration product specialist Stiebel Eltron has launched a solar photovoltaic (PV) product range in the UK aiming to bring the technology to homes and businesses.
The German company, which has carved out a niche in heat pumps, will offer a 10-year guarantee and a high performance of 90% of original specification for 12 years and 80% for 25 years. Most solar providers limit performance warranties to 80% for 20 years, according to Mark McManus, the firm’s UK managing director.
Stiebel estimates that a 2.5 kW PV installation can generate GBP 900 (USD 1,400/EUR 1,100) a year from contributing to the UK grid as well as a save up to GBP 140 on electricity bills.
The UK’s feed-in tariff scheme was introduced in April with the objective to incentivise deployment of microgeneration technologies through providing householders and communities generating their own electricity with regular payments through their energy supplier. Payments consist of a tariff for each unit of electricity generated together with a second tariff for each unit of electricity that is then exported to grid.
Businesses and households installing solar PV systems pocket up to GBP 0.413 per kWh for both power used on site and exported to the grid.
The Renewable Energy Association (REA) said last week that PV has emerged as the biggest winner from the subsidy scheme after an analysis of figures obtained from energy regulator Ofgem showed 6,930 solar PV panels were installed in the UK’s domestic sector in the first five months of the programme.
Furthermore, another 1,376 domestic PV installations have been transferred from the Renewables Obligation (RO), with a further 14 schemes transferred across the commercial, industrial and community sectors.
The FiT incentives are igniting robust interest from domestic and foreign manufacturers alike. In August, UK PV solar panel provider Solarcentury said that the staff of the company and its partner network has almost doubled over the past six months thanks to the government’s feed-in tariff.
The announcement came after in late July, Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp (TYO:6753) announced a JPY 4 billion (USD 46m/EUR 36m) expansion plan for its UK-based crystalline solar modules facility to double its annual production capacity to 500 MW.
In a major report released in June, consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers predicted that Demand for PV solar panels in the UK could zoom fivefold and installed capacity hit 1 GW by 2015 from just 32 MW in 2009 on the back of the newly-launched feed-in tariffs.