SOLAR VOICE: November/December 2019

Less than two weeks remain in this decade, and what a decade it has been for renewable energy and solar in particular. As a technology and UK industry, solar has grown from niche to mainstream.  Solar in the UK has faced its ups and downs, but the ride on the solar coaster has finally ended. Steadier, more stable times lie ahead, and the STA will now support the industry through a decade of huge potential growth. This decade saw solar deployment levels in the UK climb from very low levels to 14 gigawatts across more than 1,050 solar parks and …

SOLAR VOICE: September/October 2019

In such politically uncertain times, it is remarkable that the commitment needed to reach Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is now a consensus. If we are to reach this crucial target in good order, a greater role for decentralised renewable energy must be carved out over the coming years. Solar, energy storage, electric vehicles, demand side management and more will play a vital role in the transition to a clean, green economy. The cost of solar has fallen rapidly over the previous decade, and continues to be highly competitive with onshore and offshore wind. And whilst nuclear costs always …

STA Blogs: How VAT is changing on 1 October

In this blog, Segen provide a full breakdown of what the imminent changes to VAT legislation mean for your business. The rumours are true: from 1 October 2019 the way in which you can charge VAT on energy-saving materials (ESMs) in residential installations is changing. As solar is a listed energy saving material this change means you will have to reconsider your businesses approach to VAT. The person commissioning or paying for the installation must be the person who meets one of the criteria and HMRC will request that the installer is able to evidence the condition met (evidence could …

RE-SourceUK Blog – PPAs: Placing risk where it sits best

As we reflect back on yesterday’s insightful pilot event for the RE-SourceUK platform, Tomas Tuomenin, European PPA Lead for Macquarie/Green Investment Group, recaps some of the barriers discussed during the conference, and highlights how corporates and public-sector bodies alike can move past these challenges to procure more clean energy and reach their net zero targets. In 2018, the volume of clean energy purchased by corporates rose to new highs, reaching over 13GW – nearly double on 2017. While North America remains at the vanguard of corporate PPA procurement, the wind and sun of change is blowing and shining across Europe. Large …

RE-SourceUK Blog – Orsted on Corporate PPAs

In this blog, Alana Johnson, Head of Corporate PPAs for Ørsted, breaks down the corporate power purchase agreement, and explores how some UK corporations are leading the way towards a greener future. Corporate Power Purchase Agreements: The next step for sustainability? Combatting the climate crisis is at the top of the public agenda, with concern at a record high1. Last year’s UN2 report shows that to limit global climate change, we must lower temperature rises to 1.5C by 2030. To achieve this, the latest Committee on Climate Change (CCC) report3 states that the UK must act swiftly. Roughly two thirds …

STA BLOGS: Been There, Done VAT

Gumperson’s Proof states that ‘the most undesirable things are the most certain (death and taxes)’. Whilst the former remains as certain as ever, the same cannot be said for the UK’s approach to taxing technologies essential to reducing our nation’s bills, decarbonising our homes and enabling flexibility within our electricity system.  To the immense frustration of the clean energy industry, we are yet again fighting off another proposed VAT hike for solar and storage technologies. Despite fending off similar proposals back in 2016, the reduced rate VAT of 5% available to domestic solar PV and solar thermal installations (as well as …

STA BLOGS: The end of the solarcoaster

Now the dust has settled on the end of the Feed-in-Tariff, the UK solar market is looking ahead to a completely subsidy-free era. This is, of course, unchartered territory for the industry and it’s fair to say there is anticipation and fear, in equal measure for the next couple of years particularly. At the STA we’ve looked at the prospects for growth from 2019 to 2023 and it looks like deployment will be on the rise again, but don’t expect another ‘solarcoaster’ ride. This time it feels like a sustainable growth is possible, but the pace is very hard to …

STA BLOGS: We need to get smart about giving excess PV electricity a fair market price

In this STA Blog, Sonia Dunlop of SolarPower Europe shines a spotlight on the Government’s legal requirement to remunerate small-scale electricity exports at a fair market rate. Amidst the Brexit blur, there is a small piece of EU legislation the UK solar industry – and UK consumers – should be paying attention to at the moment. And here’s why. The EU Renewables Directive, which was officially published on the European statute book on 21 December, states that: “renewable self-consumers, individually or through aggregators, are entitled to […] receive a remuneration, including where applicable through support schemes, for the self-generated renewable …

STA BLOGS: A very Dutch view

08 February 2019 In this STA Blog, Ruud Frijstein of iChoosr laments the abrupt manner in which solar policy is shifted and scrapped in the UK. Before sharing my thoughts, you need to know I am a straight-talking Dutchman. I am pretty sure one’s perspective on matters is impacted by being foreign. You might think I am overly critical – you can judge me by the end of this blog. I work for iChoosr, an international organisation that runs group buying schemes for residential solar. We play an important role, helping to boost the high volume markets that the solar …

STA BLOGS: Export solutions; so what does the industry need now?

19th December 2018 In this STA Blog, Léonie Greene of the Solar Trade Association highlights the impact ending the export tariff will have on industry and calls on Government to urgently produce a solution. Yesterday’s announcement on the closure of the export tariff is more than disappointing. The decision ignores the vast majority of responses to BEIS’s consultation, together with the evidence provided as to why a careful approach is badly needed. It also ignored new EU laws designed to protect the rights of prosumers. It ignores our letter to the Minister now signed by over 350 stakeholders. Perhaps most disturbingly, there are …