But rate for domestic system will drop slightly in next few weeks 

Solar PV has always been a good investment for businesses, but if you’re an organisation that has been waiting for the optimum time to take the step, then 2014 looks set to be the year you’ve been waiting for, following Energy and climate minister Greg Barker’s promise to ‘unleash the potential of the mid-size solar PV sector’.

In an interview with trade publication Solar Power Portal, he said: “There is massive potential to turn our large buildings into power stations.  There is a lot more we can do to drive deployment in that all-important mid-scale solar sector. If I see a challenge for 2014, it’s to mobilise that mid-scale solar market – that is where I really what I want to get my teeth into in 2014.”

Such a positive message is excellent news for those businesses that have available roof space, particularly as he also promised to ‘sweep aside unnecessary regulatory barriers to the on-site generation.’

Exactly what measures will be introduced do is yet to be announced, but Greg Barker is working alongside the Solar Trade Association to address all the issues.  Take a look at the story below on the 175 kW system we’ve installed for Claybrook in Plymouth, which is set to achieve a 20% return on investment – we expect similar returns to soon apply to those over 250 kW.

On the flip side, for smaller systems (0-50kWp) the FiT rate is due to drop by 3.5% on 1 April (the standard default reduction rate for system sizes that didn’t reduce in the last quarter). See story below for more details

Despite the terrible weather recently, the government’s announcements fill me with yet more optimism that 2014 is going to be another record year for renewable energy in the UK, with groundbreaking new installations (see completion of the landmark Escot biomass boiler below), the launch of the SunGift Green Referral Scheme, and the introduction of new and inventive technologies (see BMW i3 and ManSafe stories below).

Gabriel Wondrausch

Managing director