Image credit: CleanEarth

Solar, storage and smart energy management empower local people and organisations. Investment in these technologies is essential if local leaders are to tackle climate change, improve air quality and facilitate the transition to a smart energy system.

Our Leading Lights report highlights how councils can lead on solar today and makes 10 recommendations to help all councils boost their solar capacity. The STA and its members want to work directly with local authorities, Metro Mayors and city leaders to spread knowledge and best practice. By working together we can accelerate a level playing field for distributed power from central government and from Ofgem.

As part of this work, the STA commissioned independent modelling by consultant James Owen, formerly of Public Power Solutions, for typical solar projects that local authorities are likely to want to invest in. Using up-to-date cost data and real-life half-hourly consumption data from schools, the modelling assesses:

  • Individual and multiple school projects in several regions of the UK including Bristol, Manchester and Nottingham
  • Individual and multiple council building rooftop installations
  • Solar farms, using both a grid exported PPA and a private wire PPA.

All of the nine analyses assume 30 years project lifetime and electricity rate rises of 5% per annum, and all schemes are constructed using PPAs, which have funded the large majority of the solar installed in the UK today and which qualify for ‘mainly export’ business rates. You can read a summary of the findings here.


Read the Leading Lights report


Read the Economic Modelling summary


How can we help you?

Download the STA resources for local authorities

Get in touch and join our Leading Lights Local Authority Network

Spread the word – download our communications pack

Ask for an STA member to present Leading Lights to your council

Get involved in our regional workshops, which we’ll be holding with MPs and local leaders.

Download now


Key findings from the report

The STA can offer further support to full local authority members, including

  • Clear & up to date industry information on technology & project costs & financing
  • Supporting evidence for ambitious planning policies
  • Expert representation on the BEIS Smart Systems Forum & ENA technical working groups in support of distributed power & local flexibility market creation
  • Expert advice on safeguarding quality when structuring procurement processes & tenders
  • STA’s regular newsletter summarising key developments in policy & news
  • Access to the industry & to major investors
  • Collaborative working to secure effective national frameworks to level the playing field for local leaders.


Enquire into joining the Leading Lights Local Authority Network


Download our brochure on the many benefits of our low-cost Local Authority Leading Lights Network here!

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Other Useful Reports


  • Technical Briefing for Housebuilders

    This briefing covers recent developments that impact housebuilders.

  • Solar Thermal Now Report

    A guide for potential investors in solar thermal and advice on how the LabelPackA+ label can help inform and improve investment decisions.

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