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In 2013, Greg Barker, the then Minister State for Energy and Climate Change officially opened the BRE National Solar Centre, the UK solar industry was flourishing with approximately 8,800 new PV systems being installed every month adding over 1.1GW of capacity within the year.

A lot has changed for solar over the last 5 years.  The cost of the technology has reduced (a domestic system now costs 13% less and larger scale systems have seen significant cost savings), the financial incentives available have considerably decreased and are due to stop all together in March 2019, and solar has become an important part of the UK energy mix (representing over 5% of all generation and meeting up to 28% of the UK’s electricity demand).  Solar is set to play a key role in a smart and flexible energy future.

Through these changes the NSC has provided support to the solar industry through the development of good practice guidance underpinned by research and our involvement with standard bodies and professional associations.  Key projects include;


In addition the NSC continue to provide robust and impartial technical advisory services to a wide range of clients at all stages of their solar journey, specialising in; quality assurance (reducing risk), due diligence (independent verification), expert witness services (under performance or other contractual issues) and supporting new innovative products to market (development, testing and demonstration).

The NSC has also developed a short training course on installing solar PV on buildings.


Christine Coonick
About the Author
Christine is Senior Consultant at the BRE National Solar Centre, based at the Eden Project. Joining BRE in 2014, she brings experience of a wide range of solar power applications, delivering impartial consultancy and research for Government, local authorities and community energy groups. As a STEM Ambassador for Cornwall and member of the Cornwall Clean Energy Industrial Advisory Group, Christine is passionate about providing the next generation with a sustainable low carbon future and encouraging women into engineering roles.

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