Solar power may be expense aggressive and thrive within the United kingdom without having subsidy from 2017 onwards, in accordance a report from consultants Ernst & Young.

The Uk Solar PV Industry Outlook Report on the non-domestic 50 kW to 5 MW market says that the costs of photovoltaic panels have already fallen significantly since 2009 and could have halved by 2013.

In fact, in accordance to manufacturer Applied Materials’ third annual solar energy survey, the expense of photovoltaic panels now stands at an even lower value of $1.25/W and is expected to reach $1/W inside the next couple of years.

In accordance to Ernst & Young’s analysis, while solar power is only currently economically viable in the United kingdom with feed-in tariffs (FITs), falling photovoltaic costs and rising fossil fuel prices could make large-scale installations cost-competitive within ten years.

But the solar industry is still reeling from the Coalition Government’s decision to cut FITs for large-scale solar installations by 40-70%.The report argues, however, that setting slightly higher FITs for large installations, of 20-24p/kWh, would generate a sufficient rate of return for developers to attract investment for solar farms and community projects without having denuding the scheme of funds for smaller domestic installations.

Ernst & Young warn that the current level of FITs and support available to photo voltaic developments under the Renewables Obligation is insufficient to maintain the industry in the United kingdom.

The report was commissioned by the Solar Trade Association (STA), which is calling on the Government to rethink its solar power strategy.