New framework means better stability for solar industry and consumers over next three years
New framework provides better certainty for consumers and industry
The Solar Trade Association (STA) welcomes many aspects of DECC's new Feed-in Tariff (FIT) cost control framework for solar PV published today , but remains concerned about the state of the UK solar market in the recession.
The new framework shows how tariffs will be reduced in line with reductions in technology cost and in order to keep the scheme within DECC's budget. The framework means both industry and consumers can have better forward visibility about when adjustments to tariffs will be made, and what they are likely to be.
STA Chief Executive Paul Barwell comments:
“This now provides the industry with the security of guaranteed tariffs to 2015 allowing it to build for the future. The STA is pleased to have won its ask for quarterly reviews with more responsiveness to market size, and less emphasis on automatic tariff cuts.”
Resources made available for a 1GW+ per annum market
DECC has provided the resources to achieve around 800MW to 1,000MW of solar installations each year to 2015. This is more per annum than the original FIT scheme anticipated over five years, which reflects the great achievements the UK industry has made in increasing efficiency and bringing down costs.
These figures do not include large-scale projects that are able to use the Renewables Obligation (with 2 ROCs available for large-scale PV), of which there could be a further 300-600MW installed before April 2013.
DECC will also be revising its Renewables Roadmap  to offer clear recognition that solar has a major role to play in the UK electricity system.
Paul Barwell continues:
“Last year STA published its Solar Revolution Strategy arguing for a minimum 1GW per annum industry. Today’s announcement proves that the STA has won its case for proper recognition for the role of solar and the development of a mature solar market in the UK.”
STA successfully wins many key asks for consumers’ benefit
STA has won many of its key asks (see below). The tariff for a (sub-4kW) domestic system from 1st August will be 16p, slightly lower than the STA wanted. However, investor income will be further boosted by the increase in the export bonus to 4.5p (from 3.2p today).
Paul Barwell says:
"We remain very concerned that the market has stalled, and the recession certainly hasn't helped. However, today's announcement means we can now be confident that even when tariffs are adjusted on 1st August, solar will still offer attractive returns to consumers – certainly when compared to other investments currently available.
“It is vital consumers understand tariffs can come down because the costs of solar have come down – there is a faulty perception out there that cuts mean solar doesn't pay. In fact, solar offers similar returns today as when the FIT scheme began because the industry has been so successful at reducing technology and installation costs.
“Furthermore, the relative income from a PV system is likely to be better than DECC suggests today because energy bills are set for another significant increase this year. So we expect to see more and more people turning to solar to save money, not just the planet. Today’s announcement should help restore confidence about the stability of the industry and Government's commitment to the growth of this sector.”
Features of the new cost control framework advocated by STA and welcomed today
Features of the new cost control framework where STA has concerns
The STA will be carrying out further analysis, including on returns, on the proposals published today for its members.
STA Chairman Alan Aldridge concludes:
"The fact is solar is one of the best investments in town for householders. We need Government now to work with us in this very difficult economic climate to get the message out that this tremendous technology is a great investment."
For further information or to request an interview, please contact:
STA Press Office: +44 (0)2079 810 856
Name: Leonie Greene
Title: Head of External Affairs, STA
Tel: +44 (0)7932 720 091
Name: Ray Noble
Title: PV Specialist, STA
Tel: +44 (0)7979 706 277
Name: Paul Barwell
Title: Chief Executive, STA
Tel: +44 (0)7785 111 359
Name: Alan Aldridge
Title: Chairman, STA
Tel: +44 (0)7787 518 642
Notes to Editors
The Solar Trade Association (STA) represents companies working in solar thermal and solar power in the UK. Since 2011 the STA has been affiliated to the Renewable Energy Association. Established in 1978 as a not-for-profit trade association we represent a diverse membership across the solar power and solar heating industry. The STA works in conjunction with its members to achieve the right regulatory framework and incentives for solar to deliver an increasing contribution to the UK’s electricity and heating needs. We undertake policy development and provide expert advice and analysis to government departments, agencies, regulators, NGOs and other stakeholders. For more information, see: www.solar-trade.org.uk
2. See DECC press release, 24th May 2012, available at: http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/pn12_066/pn12_066.aspx
3. The Renewable Energy Roadmap is to be reviewed later this year. It was first published by DECC in 2011 and is available at: www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/11/meeting-energy-demand/renewable-energy/2167-uk-renewable-energy-roadmap.pdf
4. Consumers considering fitting solar panels are advised to view the information available on the REAL Assurance and Energy Saving Trust websites: