In another blow to the hard pressed UK solar industry the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced that it will be introducing retrospective legislation requiring all households with PV panels installed on their roofs to install bird safety guards.
The legislation is in response to a continuing campaign by the RSPB who have expressed concern over the number of birds injured whilst sliding off solar panels. The RSPB insist that roosting birds are at risk from the glass covered panels. "The birds fall asleep and slip off the roof"."Often falling to their deaths without waking up".
Their representative at todays meeting (1st April 2012) stated. "Something must be done to reduce this danger to our native birdlife before its too late".
EU legislation in conjunction with the UK's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) now requires all solar panels to meet accepted parameters for friction coefficient readings in wet conditions: Dangerous .24 and below. Marginal .25 to .34. Satisfactory .35 to .64. Excellent .65 and above.
A spokesmen for the Solar Trade Association (SFA) refused to be drawn on potential costs for householders, but admitted it could be in excess of £500 per installation. The RSPB have confirmed they will be offering grants to any of their members who have solar panels fitted.
Many believe that the additional work required by this legislation will help the industry recover from the fall in orders following the reduction in FiT payments. Existing installations will be given 3 months to comply with the mandatory requirements before prosecution notices are sent out.