2011 has seen a massive rise in the solar PV markets, both in the UK and globally. There are now 2,400 MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme)registered installers in the UK and 50,000 PV installations. The installation rate is now increasing by an average of 5000 (12%) per month. In June 2010 there were just 2,708 PV installations in the UK, showing how the vast majority of this growth has taken place just this year. By June 2011 the figure had shot up to a huge 42,515 installations (a rise of 1400%).
An important consequence of the booming solar industry has been the creation of more badly needed jobs and a vital boost to the economy. In 2010, 2,500 jobs were created from the success of solar PV with a further 10,000 predicted to be created by April 2012. The prospects are still set to look better with another 15,000 extra solar jobs predicted for 2014 and a massive 50,000 by 2015 (these figures are however assuming there is little change in subsidies, a subject we shall address in a further article). The overall economic benefits of solar PV have been calculated in Spain as providing 3 Euros for the economy for every 1 Euro invested in solar PV, which you could reasonably expect to be not too different for the UK.
What these facts and figures mean for the potential consumer is that it is clear that solar PV is establishing itself as a useful, viable and popular technology. We have addressed in previous articles common misconceptions about PV such as it being inappropriate for English weather, inefficient, short-lived or producing toxic waste. Now the huge rise in the uptake of PV let the practical and economic benefits speak for themselves.