A Review of the UK Photovoltaic (PV) Industry and How It Conforms To Governmental Regulations
Climate change and global warming have become hot topics over the past few years and there has been more publicity and increased general awareness of how our actions, as human beings, can affect the way in which the planet operates. At present, the global population, and in particular the more industrialised countries are very much reliant on fossil fuels. This heavy dependence has led to several environmental concerns such as the depletion of the ozone layer, more unpredictable weather patterns and a generally warmer climate which, in turn, are causing the world’s sea levels to rise. The construction industry is currently thought to be a major contributor to climate change due to the levels of energy used to manufacture materials, co-ordinate logistics and actually construct each development/project. The end product can also tend to utilise more energy when it is fully operational e.g. housing. New targets have therefore been set by the UK Government to counter this. They aim to generate 10% of all electricity for new build homes from renewable energy sources by 2010 and, by 2016, all new build homes will have to produce zero carbon emissions. In order to achieve these aims, houses will be need to have several micro-generation devices on-site.
These could incorporate solar thermal (solar water heating), solar electric (photovoltaic), heat pumps (ground and air source), wind turbines and biomass (heating systems). Due to time constraints this dissertation will focus primarily on photovoltaic (PV) panels e.g. panels which transfer sunlight into electricity. The theoretical framework of the dissertation addresses how the PV manufacturing industry will be able to meet the UK Government’s ambitious plans to construct 240,000 new homes each year, from 2016, in order to maintain the anticipated demand. Primary data was gathered from four selected PV manufacturers within the UK. A qualitative methodology technique was used in the form of semi-structured interviews to determine information on manufacturers’ thoughts and feelings on the subject. The results were then analysed for patterns of similarities and dissimilarities with reference to the research questions. The interviews were limited to four due to the difficulty in getting respondents to participate. In light of this, case studies were used to strengthen the relevance of the outcomes. The dissertation will investigate the following aims and objectives:
To study what the Government is doing to ensure that the energy renewable industry will be able to deliver adequate quantities of photo voltaic (PV) panels for 240,000 new homes each year from 2016
To examine how the suppliers of these renewable energies will ensure they have an adequate manufacturing workforce in place for 2016
To examine what the suppliers of these PV panels are doing to ensure they have adequate maintenance workforce to install and service the equipment
To investigate what the limitations within these industries are and see if they are investing enough money in the PV panel research and development
To research how the PV manufacturers are trying to differentiate themselves from competitors and increase their market share
Given that each construction project is complex in its own individual way, attempting to find a sustainable approach for the whole construction industry is an overwhelming task. One possible method of altering the sustainable attitude in construction is to contemplate the way in which current works are being carried out in the construction industry and to try and find new, more sustainable methods. One current suggestion is to adopt a range of eco-homes which will gain a Code level 6 rating (under the Code for Sustainable Homes) when assisted by renewable energies. There is a huge demand for change within the construction industry at present due to the division that currently exists between the academic world and the construction industry. The dissertation will focus on the change drivers that could result in such changes being made possible.
Did you find any useful knowledge relating to the UK Photovoltaic Industry in this post? What are the key facts that grabbed your attention? Let us know in the comments. Thank you.