A new survey, released today by market research firm Mintel, revealed a widespread optimism about the uptake of domestic rooftop solar, with just 40% saying they would not even consider them.

And roughly a third of these people ruled themselves out because they thought their roof would be unsuitable, with concern about maintenance costs (29%) and potential for relocation (24%) the other main issues.

Only 15% of people are concerned about how solar panels would affect the price of their house, suggesting that this is only a small deterrent, while less than one in ten (8%) said they do not spend enough time in their home during daylight hours to benefit from the daytime electricity generated by these solar panels.

The majority of people (55%) have heard of the government’s ‘Feed-in Tariff’ (FIT) scheme; 50% have heard of ‘rent-a-roof’ schemes, with slightly more people (54%) are aware of the ‘Green Deal’ finance scheme.

Bright future

Mintel senior analyst Claudia Preedy said: “Although the market remains in its infancy, demand for solar panels has exploded since 2010 and there continues to be strong growth potential.”

Despite the withdrawal of the ROC subsidy – which prompted an installation rush at the end of March – Preedy predicts that solar will weather the legislative storm.

She added: “Despite frequent changes in government policy and other factors, such as the strong drop in installation costs in recent years, the solar industry has proved resilient and has shown that it can reinvent itself within a changing landscape.

“The industry is expected to continue to do so in the foreseeable future, even with the uncertainties regarding future government policies.”

There is also a wealth of growth potential for commercial rooftop solar. Panels on on just 61% of the nation’s 2.500km2 south-facing commercial roof space would meet the total electricity demand of UK companies.

Brad Allen

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