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The growing role of renewable energy installation skills

Recent years have seen a number of government energy initiatives require tradesmen to turn their traditional skills towards renewable energy installations and the related construction work. A newly-announced initiative that will see building-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) panels receive higher government subsidies than ground-mounted projects is now likely to make renewable technology installation skills an even more important part of modern skill sets.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced this week that there will be separate bands of support under the Renewables Obligation (RO). The move has been designed to encourage the installation of larger-scale solar panel projects on the roofs of factories and warehouse buildings, generating power not just for those particular buildings but for surrounding developments as well.

Energy Minister, Greg Barker, said that the decision has been made in response to two supplementary consultations published alongside its review of Renewables Obligation Certificate (ROC) bandings.

“We have listened to industry about the need to differentiate support between building-mounted and ground-mounted installations and we have introduced two bands as a result,” he explained. “Our proposals for solar projects on commercial buildings will encourage businesses to consider solar PV as a serious option for meeting their power needs.”

The new subsidy rates for the solar projects will take effect from next year and will run until 2017. The Energy Bill published last month, detailed a system of Feed-in Tariffs with Contracts for Difference (FiT CfDs) that will come into force after that point, which will allow producers of low carbon power a fixed price for energy supplied to the National Grid.