Posts tagged with: electric vehicles

With the Queen’s speech today outlining the coalition Government’s plans to revitalise the economy, those within renewable energy will be pondering the future of the UK low carbon economy.

Frost & Sullivan have conducted a study which indicates that the Clegg-Cameron alliance commitment to a low carbon economy could prove beneficial to other struggling industries and in particular, chemicals. The chemical industry plays an important part in the manufacture of new renewable technologies such as solar PV. Frost & Sullivan therefore predict that the growth of the UK solar industry, pushed by the feed-in tariff could help support the chemical industry.

Making comparisons to Germany who introduced their own feed-in tariff system in 2000 in order to incentivise solar investment, Frost & Sullivan believe that the UK feed-in tariff could prove to be a similarly successful catalyst for UK industry as a whole.

Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst, Dr. Nicola Rudd stated that,

“Increased deployment of photovoltaics has a knock-on effect on the chemical industry as the raw materials, such as solar grade silicon and industrial gases, are supplied by chemical manufacturers. Several of these companies, such as PV Crystalox Solar and Linde, have facilities in the UK and could benefit from this increased local demand for photovoltaics.”

Rudd believes that other areas of UK manufacturing could also benefit from moves towards a low carbon economy. The manufacture of electric and hybrid vehicles in the UK is set to grow, creating jobs and supporting related industries. Rudd believes that,

“The UK is going to be a manufacturing hub for electric vehicles, as demonstrated by Nissan’s announcement that they are going to be manufacturing electric vehicles in Sunderland from 2013.”

Glass and plastic component manufacturer, Romag who specialize in the production of units to be used in photovoltaic technology have developed a product designed to recharge electric vehicles in public spaces using solar panels. The ‘PowerPark’ facilities will be located in areas such as supermarkets, petrol stations, schools, offices and airports and will generate enough electricity via their PV canopies to both charge electric vehicles and feed energy in to the national grid.

PowerPark, which is set to be rolled out first in the North East and then the rest of the UK has already secured a contract with OneNE, a regional development agency created to help projects such as this in the North East of England. The regional development agency will also help Romag to set up the UK’s first photovoltaic training and development park, in the hope that it will see the development of other renewable projects which will help contribute to the general move away from fossil fuels in the UK.

Although as yet, electric cars have failed to enter the national consciousness the industry hopes that in the next few years, based on the provisions set out both in the Energy Bill land by the newly created Environment and Climate Change Department, they will become much more popular after 2010. Many commercial renewable manufacturers such as Romag are also hopeful that the feed-in tariff (FIT) which is to be introduced next year will help them by offering them a fixed rate for the megawatts they feed-in to the national grid via their PV canopies. As has been practiced successfully in places such as Germany, the tariff helps manufacturers and investors alike as their revenue streams are protected by the rate paid for the megawatts by the energy companies. The additional costs incurred by the power companies in purchasing the expensive renewable energy are spread across the consumers in their monthly bills.

There are hundreds of businesses in the UK which, like Romag will be hoping that the government’s feed-in tariff is sufficient to spur the renewable industry in the UK the same way it has done elsewhere, in particular in Germany where tariffs have been highly successful in promoting investment in photovoltaic plant.