Greg Barker has hailed the potential of the British solar industry, stating that the market is now the most exciting growth market in the whole of Europe.

Speaking at the Solar Media-organised event, Doing Solar Business in the UK in Munich, the minister of state for energy and climate change explained why he believes UK solar is so attractive.

He said: “Great Britain is now the most exciting growth market for solar in Europe. And there are three prime reasons why the UK should be the destination of choice for any solar company looking to invest in Europe:

“First, our UK domestic market has the greatest growth potential in the EU. Second, the UK has a reformed, robust and fully-financed support framework for renewables, set all the way to 2020 and beyond. And third, we are an emerging global hub for advanced manufacturing.”

Barker reiterated David Cameron’s pledge to run the “greenest government ever”, noting that the Prime Minister recently expressed his desire to “make Britain a global showcase for green innovation and energy efficiency” and “one of the best places for green energy, green investment, and crucially for green jobs anywhere in the world.”

Barker added: “Let there be no doubt. Affordable, scaleable, and reliable solar power is at the heart of that vision.”

The minister welcomed the installation of 2.5GW of solar across the UK, labelling it a “heroic level of deployment” that was a “tribute to the hard work, resilience and entrepreneurial spirit of the British solar industry.”

The minister also launched an attack of the recent duties imposed by the European Commission on Chinese-manufactured solar products, stating: “Britain – perhaps more than anyone else in the EU – stands for free trade and global competition. We have always done so, and will always continue to do so. That is why we have led the fight against the imposition of damaging and counterproductive anti-dumping EU levies on imports of Chinese solar panels.”

He added: “In my view a totally counterproductive and retrograde action.”

Barker concluded: “No country in the EU is better-placed for growth and new solar deployment than the UK. No country has more potential for future solar deployment. Our stated ambitions mean that we have over 17GW of solar to deploy in the next seven years. And no country has a better mix of ingredients to support the solar industry.”