“Unleashing the potential of solar in the UK would rapidly create thousands of skilled jobs across the country. Our industry can help to spread the green recovery from Land’s End to John O’Groats.” Chris Hewett, STA Chief Executive
The STA is calling on the government to commit to a target of 40 gigawatts of solar by 2030, in line with recommendations from The Committee on Climate Change, to support a green recovery.
Read our new policy paper to find out how the Government can unleash the potential of UK solar and rapidly deliver a wealth of skilled jobs and growth across the country as we look to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19.
Maximise Routes to Market and Improve Investor Confidence
The Government is currently consulting on a new round of clean power auctions under its Contracts for Difference scheme, set to take place next year. Earlier this year it announced plans to let solar and onshore wind compete in this round after five years of exclusion following immense pressure from the respective industries.
The STA is calling for the next round to be ambitious and accommodating of solar’s deployment timescales, which are considerably faster than onshore wind, with large-scale solar parks capable of being developed in under six months.
Undertake Green Tax Reform to Ensure Continued Sustainable Growth
The 250,000 hectares of south-facing commercial roof space in the UK is largely under-utilised. The untapped potential of this vast amount of space is huge. A conservative estimate suggests the UK could deploy more than 30GW of solar capacity on warehouses, breweries, retail centres and beyond. The main barrier to achieving this is the punitive business rates that are applied to the bulk of commercial rooftop solar installations.
The STA is calling for exception for onsite renewables such as solar PV and battery storage to place it on a level playing field with fossil-fuel technology Gas CHP.
Support Innovation and Energy Efficiency to Improve the UK’s Property Portfolio
Solar currently adorns approximately one million residential roofs in the UK, but with more than 25 million homes across the country there is significant potential for many more homeowners to play their part in tackling climate change and supporting local businesses.
The STA is calling on Government to support households and small businesses’ ability to make green improvements though a grant or zero-interest loan scheme, and to drive building standards for new homes up high through the much anticipated Future Homes Standard.
- Key policy: Implement a robust Contracts for Difference design to maximise solar deployment, including a sufficient budget for Pot 1 (solar and onshore wind), regular 6-monthly auctions, and no capacity caps.
- Key policy: Except rooftop solar and battery storage from business rates, in line with government tax treatment of Gas CHP (Combined Heat and Power).
- Key policy: Implement high, ambitious new build minimum energy efficiency standards keeping to the timelines set out in the Future Homes Standard consultation.
- Key policy: Provide access to green finance for domestic and commercial entities to install solar and storage through grants, zero interest loans or other fiscal incentives.