This week saw the release of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)’s Renewable Energy Roadmap, which saw solar energy make an entry for the first time.

2012 has been a very successful year for solar, thanks to the decreasing cost of solar panels and a widespread overall uptake of the technology around the country. The last 12 months saw a fivefold increase in solar PV capacity and a renewed faith in the government’s renewable energy targets.

Thanks to the rapid uptake of solar, the DECC has predicted that the industry could install between seven and 20GW of solar by 2020. This has been reflected in the fact that the body believes the UK will generate sufficient renewable energy by 2020 to satisfy carbon objectives, which include producing at least 15 per cent of energy (domestic, commercial, industrial and infrastructural) from renewable sources.

Due to changes in the Renewable Obligations relating to medium and large-scale solar (both ground and roof-mounted), industry experts have predicted a further boost to the sector as companies seek to install solar panels before the changes come in in April 2013.

Solar Power Portal recently stated that the DECC would soon be releasing their Solar Strategy document to complement the updated Roadmap. The DECC stated: “The Strategy will reflect both government and industry perspectives as to the main challenges facing the deployment of solar PV. It will consider the scope for small-scale, community-owned, commercial and utility scale deployment in the UK and identify the barriers to growth that need to be addressed in each case.

“It will also consider how industry needs to secure cost reductions over time, and how this can best be monitored to inform the UK’s overall strategy, helping to set out the potential for economic benefit for the UK from industry growth.”

The statement went on to comment that the government would look to international countries with more developed and larger solar sectors to establish if the UK could learn anything. Technological and manufacturing developments would also be monitored.