Developing A Photovoltaic Industry In The North West

Nieuwland, Amersfoort, Netherlands
Nieuwland, Amersfoort, Netherlands
Project date
  • Energy
  • Research
North West England
North West Development Agency
Associated team members
Associated documents

URBED was commissioned by Renewables North West and the North West Development Agency to carry out a study looking at the potential for solar photovoltaic manufacturing in the North West. The NWDA's Regional Economic Strategy has established environmental technologies as a key theme for the region. The study was therefore commissioned to support Renewables North West in seeking to attract investment to the region. It was also used as justification for state aid to enable CIS's (Co-operative Insurance Society) 300 kWe solar facade (the largest in Europe) to go ahead.

The brief for this major study was split into two parts:

1. Deployment scenarios - We looked at a range of novel mechanisms and case studies from the EU, Japan and USA that could be used to increase the deployment of photovoltaic technology across the region. We also worked with King Sturge to develop scenarios for deployment based on housing and commercial property market projections, and property industry trends. We also identified key areas of growth potential in the building integrated product market

2. Manufacturing opportunities - We looked at the current and forecast market potential of the full range of photovoltaic technologies - from currently available technology based on silicon wafers to blue skies polymer, dye and broadband width technologies. To do this we attended a number of EU trade fares and engaged with a range of photovoltaic manufacturers. We identified the skills required by manufacturers for current and emerging technologies, mapping these requirements onto North West firms, who we then identified for follow-up by Renewables North West.

We are currently taking forward one of the recommendations of the report, which was to establish solar buying co-ops in urban neighbourhoods to achieve greater economies of scale.



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