A new report published by Rexel predicts that the UK could outperform other European solar hotspots by 2016.

In partnership with IMS Research, the electrical distribution company has produced a solar heat map which compares installations to date with forecasts for 2016.  

The heat map predicts that the UK could install 8GW of solar capacity by 2016 – higher than the predicted market of both Spain and Greece. However, the map shows that the UK is still a long way behind European leaders Germany and Italy, with predicted markets of 55GW and 25GW respectively.

Sam Wilkinson, Research Manager, IMS Research, explained: “The particularly adverse economic conditions in Spain and Greece are reflected in the map, with both countries only adding 3GW of installed capacity by 2016. Things are brighter elsewhere though, and we expect both France and the UK to reach 8GW in the next five years, while Eastern Europe should increase from just 3GW currently to over 12GW.”

Brian Smithers, Director of Rexel UK added: “Countries like Germany have moved on from installing cheap products for a quick financial gain to taking a longer term view. If the rest of Europe is to deliver on the forecasts, we need to learn from this experience and work to educate both installers and end-users that a better quality product delivers a better yield. PV is gaining popularity as energy prices rice and the cost of panels falls, but only by ensuring installers have the right level of expertise and are fitting the right products, will the industry secure a level of generation that is still a good investment for businesses and consumers alike.”