- Subsidy-free solar is the sustainable face of the UK’s post-FIT landscape, with opportunities abounding across all sectors. Q CELLS, who secured a leading module supply market share in UK in 2018, geared up for this exciting journey with a range of new product releases and proactive market engagement as sponsor of the Solar Trade Association’s Rooftop Solar Roadshow.
Hanwha Q CELLS Co., Ltd., secured leading market share in the UK in 2018. And as the market-leading company, Q CELLS assumed the role as one of the leading sponsors for this month’s Rooftop Solar Roadshow, hosted by the UK’s Solar Trade Association (STA) to promote solar opportunities in a subsidy-free era.
As the UK’s feed-in tariff (FIT) for solar installations came to a permanent close in March, the nation’s PV landscape has begun adapting to a subsidy-free environment. This post-FIT market abounds with opportunities, given the soaring popularity of solar power in the UK, the tumbling costs of solar components, and the growing awareness that renewable energy must play a vital role in tackling climate change.
These trends were some of the main themes focused on during the STA’s Rooftop Solar Roadshow, of which Q CELLS was one of the main sponsors. The Roadshow toured four major UK cities at the beginning of May, hosting half-day seminars with the aim of supporting Small-to-Medium Enterprise (SME) installers to identify the most optimal ways to operate in the UK’s subsidy-free rooftop PV landscape.
With 96% of UK homes without a solar array installed, the opportunities are vast for more homeowners to embrace the technology. The STA Roadshow provided insight into how the market can unlock new technologies, equip installers with the best technical know-how and marketing strategies, and ensure best practice in terms of installation, upselling and customer care.
Trust and quality to become key drivers in UK solar
On May 1, the UK Parliament became the first government in the world to declare a “climate emergency.” This action followed days of intense protest in London by climate action group Extinction Rebellion, as well as a direct appeal by Swedish student and Climate Strike organizer Greta Thunberg to the British government to take firmer action in addressing climate change.
Hence, the social capital of clean energy has never been higher in the UK. Following the Government’s announcement, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) published a Net Zero Report that discovered that the UK’s low carbon power generation capacity must quadruple by 2050 if the country is to achieve net zero status by that date.
Today, the UK has 155 TWh of low carbon power on the grid. This figure should increase to between 540 TWh and 645 TWh by 2050, according to the CCC. Solar power and wind are perfectly poised to account for the lion’s share of that capacity, and with PV already the most popular form of electricity generation among the UK public, expectations are growing that – even without direct government subsidies – the solar market can shine.
Helping to drive this growth is Q CELLS, which is currently the market leader in the UK, according to the latest EuPD Research Global PV InstallerMonitor 2018/2019 survey. The EuPD Research survey also found that Q CELLS is the brand of module most likely to be recommended by UK installers, enjoying a 100.0 Net Promoter Score (NPS), putting Q CELLS ahead of the competition.
Q CELLS solar modules also achieved the best overall satisfaction value of 1.25, according to the Survey, which further highlights just how important quality and trust will be as the UK solar market continues its transition into a post-subsidy future.
Q CELLS: Committed to the UK for the long term
The encouraging results of the EuPD Research Global PV InstallerMonitor survey reflect the concerted effort that Q CELLS has made to support the continued growth of the UK solar market. Among Tier-1 solar companies, Q CELLS has one of the strongest UK-dedicated teams, a local UK warehouse for fast delivery, and a growing Q.PARTNER network that ensures all four corners of the country are comprehensively served.
Products available to British customers include the award-winning Q.PEAK DUO-G5 and Q.PEAK DUO BLK-G5, both of which were extremely popular solar modules in the UK in 2018. The recently launched Q.PEAK DUO-G6 – which is manufactured using larger wafers and delivers an increased power output of up to 6% – is also expected to prove popular in the UK residential and C&I rooftop markets later this year.
Also set for introduction into the UK market in the second half of 2019 is Q CELLS’ latest storage solution, the Q.HOME+ ESS AC-G2, which is available as an AC-coupled battery developed for both new solar+storage installations as well as a retrofit solution for existing arrays.
Sean Collier, Head of UK and Ireland Sales for Q CELLS, said: “The variety of UK projects, campaigns and programs that Q CELLS is actively involved in serves to highlight our continued support of this evolving solar market. The value and importance of solar is really rising in the minds of the average British consumer, and as is the case with all mature markets, the emphasis is increasingly on quality, reliability and trust – three areas in which Q CELLS has long excelled.
“And as the LCOE of solar continues to fall, the argument for subsidy-free PV becomes more compelling by the day – not just at the residential rooftop scale, but also for small businesses and even at utility scale.”