Commercial rooftop market showing ‘signs of continuing life’

Lark Energy managing director Jonathan Selwyn has said there is “absolutely no doubt” that the commercial solar market will continue despite restrictive cuts to the feed-in tariff and other subsidy schemes.

But while activity is likely to be driven by forward-thinking businesses and public sector initiatives, Selwyn said the potential size of the market is still unknown.

Speaking to Solar Power Portal ahead of his participation on a panel discussing the emergence of new business models for solar at this month’s Clean Energy Summit, the Lark Energy MD said that there had been “signs of continuing life” in commercial rooftops of late.

While uptake of small-scale solar has been generally weak across the board since the new FIT regime came into place, the large rooftop market breached its capacity band and businesses remain engaged with the technology.

“The jury’s out a bit in terms of what volume’s going to come forward but… there’s certainly projects coming forward and the public sector local government [market] is still pretty active,” Selwyn said.

Ground-mount solar deployment is also showing signs of life with the emergence of private-wire contracts, however Selwyn was cautious to stress that it remains a “tough market” in which to operate.

“Just exporting to the grid, the price is too low and can’t be made to work at the moment… I think it’s clear on the ground-mount that private wire is the model that’s going to work.

“But it takes a long time to get these deals together, so it’s certainly not an immediate panacea,” he said.

Selwyn will be discussing the subject further alongside Lightsource chief executive Nick Boyle and Green Hedge’s Tess Sundelin. Tickets are still available, and further information is available here.