One of Germany's biggest installers of solar panels has set up a base in Kent amid expectations of rapid growth in the UK solar energy market.
SunConcept, which also operates in Italy, Spain and South Africa, has opened a subsidiary at Kings Hill, near Maidstone, as a springboard into the UK market. It is hoping to benefit from the government's "feed-in tariff" system, which encourages the installation of solar panels.
The system was introduced by the Labour government in April, allowing anyone installing small-scale power generation in businesses, homes, hospitals or schools to claim a tariff of 41.3p a unit. A further 3p a unit could be earned from electricity sent to the grid.
Even as SunConcept ramps up its UK presence, the feed-in tariff could be under threat after the coalition government brought forward a review of the scheme as it sought to cut costs.