Government calls on developers to take part in two £3 million solar power trials

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has announced that it is to provide £3 million for a solar housing trial, and a further £3 million for a large-scale solar power generation for non-domestic buildings, and has called upon developers to bid for a share of the money.

The domestic housing trial is intended to result in a further 300 homes being able to use solar energy, most of which are expected to be installed by the end of 2002, with the non-domestic trial using 12 to 15 installations larger than 20kWp.

“This extra money will help provide the right learning experience before the UK embarks on a much larger installation programme,” said Minister for Energy Peter Hain, emphasising that the new trial was just the start of a long-term solar strategy. “I want to see thousands, rising to tens of thousands of roofs covered by solar panels every year over the next ten years, rivalling the large programmes in Germany and Japan. I appeal to developers and UK manufacturers of solar equipment to invest in the future of this important industry.”

The housing trial is the second call for proposals for the domestic solar PV systems field trial, and it is hoped that applications will be attracted from areas of the country not already covered by the nine projects launched in May 2000, such as Scotland, Northern Ireland, the North East and the West Midlands. The initial phase of the trial covered 166 houses and cost £1.4 million, 100 of which will have been installed by the end of 2001.

Developers wishing to obtain additional information on both schemes will be able to do so from the Official Journal of the European Union and from specialist trade journals over the next few weeks.

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