E.ON brings rooftop solar scheme to UK

UK homes are set to benefit from rooftop solar panels with a guaranteed return, thanks to a new deal between German utility E.ON and US solar provider Sungevity.

The partners are selling solar panels to UK residents with a pledge to make up any shortfall if the panels fail to produce 95% of the electricity promised.

The scheme, which is already successful in Germany and the Netherlands, will now be piloted in the Midlands and the North of England, before potentially being rolled out across the country.

Sungevity chief executive Andre Birch said: “Our UK expansion is a prime example of how a global utility and solar provider can work collaboratively to change the energy landscape across the world.

“Extending our alliance with E.ON to the UK is another key step toward enabling a more sustainable global future for generations to come.

Developing market

In December last year, E.ON became the first ‘Big Six’ utility company to make a major move towards renewable energy, announcing it would be shifting its fossil-fuel generation to a new company and focusing on clean power.

A statement from E.ON released alongside this week’s announcement said the partnership would be looking to profit from the UK’s ‘developing’ solar market, which led Europe in capacity added in 2014.

However, E.ON did not address recent changes to the subsidy support scheme in the UK, which the Solar Trade Association has warned could cause a ‘cliff edge effect’ on deployment.

Last week, the Government launched a consultation on proposals to end support for solar PV of 5MW and below under the Renewables Obligation (RO) subsidy scheme from April 2016. This follows a similar move last year which saw solar farms of more than 5MW in size – about 25 acres – excluded from receiving support from the RO scheme as of April this year.

Brad Allen

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