Module manufacturer Jinko Solar is stockpiling panels for the UK market, as it prepares for a surge in demand as the renewable obligation (RO) scheme closes to large-scale solar.
The 1 April 2015 deadline will close the door on support for projects larger than 5MW that currently qualify for the RO, and force them to apply for support under the contracts for difference (CfD) scheme.
“The UK market now helps us to get to the volumes we need in Europe. We expect to see a huge rush triggered by the end of the 1.4ROCS at the end of March next year,” Frank Niendorf, director for Europe at Jinko Solar told Solar Power Portal.
“This leads to the situation where all these utility-scale projects need to end in the next few months and for that reason we are very much preparing now to pile up our inventory stocks to meet as much as possible the huge demand we expect in Q4 2014 and Q1 2015,” added Niendorf.
A similar, but less extreme drop in support through the RO scheme from 1.6 to 1.4 ROCs last year triggered a rush. This led some in the industry to call for an end to cliff face changes in support to ensure safety and quality are maintained.
Despite the bottleneck created by the changes, Niendorf is still very pleased with the opportunity presented in Britain.
“In general, as any other player in the UK market, we are extremely happy to have it at the moment. It is a kind of a paradise among a very challenging European environment!”