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New solar PV centre aims to boost UK renewable energy generation

17 January 2013

A new BRE National Solar Centre in St Austell is intended to help industry and government deliver on the solar PV opportunities set out in DECC’s recent 2012 Renewables Roadmap Update, where the UK’s capacity is being steered for growth from its current 1.4GW base up to a potential 20GW by 2020.

Photo: Stock.xchng
Photo: Stock.xchng

With funding from the EU and support from Cornwall Council and DECC, the BRE National Solar Centre will engage with organisations outside the traditional scope of the industry to ensure that PV is better understood as a technology and its potential realised. A particular focus will be the construction industry which is urged to improve its understanding of how PV products are better integrated with buildings.

BRE Director Nick Tune, who developed the idea for the Centre said "We have a real opportunity here to drive the uptake of solar PV. The sector has seen a dramatic reduction in installed costs by up to 50 percent from 2010-2012. The Centre will help the sector deliver further reductions so solar PV can become competitive with other low-carbon electricity sources.

"There are significant opportunities to support the development of Building Integrated PV products and the interaction of PV with commercial buildings.  We will also look at issues around smart grids, storage, power output prediction and more – all critical factors for improving the long term performance of the technology and creating confidence in its future."

BRE's National Solar Centre will open in April 2013. 

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