Small scale domestic installations will be the unexpected beneficiaries of the Government’s long-awaited review of Feed-in Tariffs for renewable energy and the electrotechnical industry is set to benefit, according to SummitSkills.
Whilst most in the renewable and environmental industries are disappointed, the sector skills council for the building services engineering (BSE) sector has welcomed the recent announcement by DECC confirming that funds will be diverted away from field-sized solar power plants. The reform will see domestic and other small scale installations of up to 50kw favoured over some of the larger community scale developments previously planned. This new focus will result in an increased demand for domestic installation of solar panels – providing businesses in the industry more opportunities to compete for work.
Keith Marshall, OBE, Chief Executive at SummitSkills says: “In comparison with large scale projects which rely heavily on one provider, an increase in smaller domestic opportunities will provide the industry with more chances to compete for and showcase environmental technology installation.
“The key challenge of course will be to make sure that the right people with the right skills do the jobs and that the inevitable resultant training bonanza really meets these skills needs. With a boost in demand, the likelihood of increasing numbers of rogue traders is high. It is therefore vital the public can be sure of an engineer’s competence to fit solar panels and other environmental technologies in their homes”, he says.
“A certified electrician doesn’t necessarily have the correct training in solar panel installation. We are developing the industry-recognised standards which will provide businesses with the way to ensure their staff are fully qualified, minimising potential problems and ensuring the public gets the professional services that people need.”