This year the solar industry in the UK grew massively as more and more homeowners, small businesses and community groups recognised the multiple benefits of solar power and had arrays installed on the roof of their buildings.

According to Solarbuzz, cumulative photovoltaic (PV) demand in the UK will exceed 1.6 GW by the end of this year, with more than 94 per cent of this demand installed during the past two years. The UK is now within the top ten countries in the world in regard to solar power, thanks to this rapid increase in solar installations.

“Explosive PV growth in 2011 and 2012 was dominated by residential installations benefitted by attractive feed-in-tariffs,” commented to Finlay Colville, Vice President of Solarbuzz.

It has now been predicted that 2013 will see the industry thrive even more thanks to the upcoming Renewable Obligation (RO) changes in April of next year.

A new report published by market analysts Solarbuzz, ‘UK PV Market Entry Guide: New Revenue Opportunities’ has predicted that there will be a rush of developers looking to install large-scale solar projects before the change to the RO.

The government recently announced that April of 2013 would see the introduction of two different ROs – one for ground-mounted large-scale installations and one for roof-mounted arrays.

Commenting on this predicted expansion, Mr Colville, said: “Explosive PV growth in 2011 and 2012 was dominated by residential installations benefitted by attractive feed-in-tariffs. However, the focus at the start of 2013 will change rapidly to megawatt-scale ground-mount installations as installers seek to beat the end-of-March cut off deadline.”

It is thought that this increase in the number of solar panels will stimulate the economy and provide a host of jobs throughout the sector, from manufacturing to installation as well as helping reach the governments solar targets.

“Energy costs remain a highly emotive issue within the UK,” added Mr Colville. “So long as PV system pricing continues to decline, there is a strong possibility that the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s Impact Assessment goal of 22 GW by 2020 can be reached.”