The UK market is capable of riding out current uncertainty and has a longer term sustainable future, an executive from Chinese inverter manufacturer Sungrow said during the Solar Energy UK event in Birmingham.
The company established an office in the UK around a year ago and claims to have installed more than 150MW in the UK so far.
William Zhou, the company’s vice president of international business said recent proposals to slash support for solar gave them no cause for concern.
“We are not worried about one year. We are thinking about the long-term, 3-5 years and more,” he told SPP. “Before we opened the UK office we thought there would be a policy change but we didn’t know when. But for the long-term, we still knew the UK would be a good market for us so we opened an office regardless,” he said.
“The UK market may shrink but it doesn’t matter. We’re not afraid of last year’s oil price decrease, we’re not afraid of the currency exchange rates, these are only short-term influences. We work in many nations and if one market slows the others will absorb it,” he added.
“The UK office has already broken even. We like [the UK] market because there is a very neutral business environment. If the price is good and the product is good they are happy, they are not worried about just a brand name. It’s easy to build relationships with customers in this region and they appreciate good engineering,” he added.
Zhou's sentiments on the UK market were echoed by Indian module manufacturer.
“Right now it’s kind of cold because of the [proposed changes to the] FiT that were announced,” said Pankaj Desai, president and CEO of Sonali Solar.
“The way I see, it might take 6-8 months to settle and once that phase passes on, the market will again start ramping up in the UK, because the developers and the customers are trying to design for a system excluding the FiT.”
Additional reporting by Tom Kenning