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The big debate

Once again, we’ve asked some of the most incisive and intelligent commentators from the world of PV to contribute to our roundtable debate – the most talked-about feature in PES. Our experts are here to offer invaluable analysis from the forefront of the industry.

PES: Welcome to the magazine. Before we head into the main issues of the day, can you tell our readers a little about your role, and how your organisation is involved in the solar industry?
Richard Molloy: I am a spokesperson on renewable energy for Eaton although my role is primarily a sales role within our Sustainability Segment. I look after the customer side of photovoltaic for Eaton in the UK and occasionally abroad. My role involves me working with EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) contractors and coming up with solutions to meet their grid integration challenges. This may involve the provision and installation of switchgear, transformers, cables, inverters – whatever is needed and then co-ordinating the project through the Eaton organisation which both manufactures the products and carries out the installation.
Eaton provides turnkey solar solutions regarding the distribution of the produced solar energy to the grid; tailored to its customers’ requirements. Eaton is a world-class manufacturer of DC and AC switching and protection devices and the associated LV (Low Voltage) and MV (Medium Voltage) assemblies which offers the complete solution.

Michael Harre: Within LG Electronics, there are six different divisions, which include home entertainment, mobile phones, white goods, air conditioning, information technology and solar energy. I am the Vice President for the LG European Solar Business Group, so am responsible for sales and marketing activities. Prior to my role at LG, I held the position of Chief Sales Officer at SCHOTT Solar AG.
LG Electronics is a global leader and technology innovator. The solar power division was launched on the back of LG Electronics’ environment-friendly leadership. Prior to the launch of LG Solar, LG Electronics conducted a thorough research project to ensure that it entered the market in the most effective way. It explored which technology to choose, which parts of the value chain to focus on and which key markets to tackle. Production of solar panels started in 2010 and has steadily increased to now offer a panel with a 430 MWp capacity.
Jerry Hamilton: Thanks, I appreciate the invite. I am the Director of Energy Solutions at Rexel UK. I have been with the company for seven years, and have helped develop new markets for the group to extend its powerful logistics operation, so I’ve witnessed first-hand the evolution and recent dramatic rise of the renewable market.
In the early days in the UK, before the Feed in Tariffs were introduced, we saw the growth potential in solar and wanted to provide our customers with a way into this new market so began organising relevant training. When the Feed-in Tariffs were introduced and the market began to flourish even more we also started to put in place the necessary Microgeneration Certification Schemes so that our customers could benefit further. So solar has always been a big focus for us in the UK.
As this is a fast growing and changing market, particularly with the price of energy continuing to rise year-on-year, there has been an increasing demand for alternative solutions. My role is to ensure Rexel are positioned as a leading player in the supply and distribution of solar PV to meet this demand. The role also encompasses all aspects of energy efficiency as well as other renewable technology such as solar thermal, heat pumps, and biomass. As renewables and energy efficiency become part of our everyday lives, Rexel works with organisations to help them achieve their energy goals and with our customer base to supply the goods for these projects.


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