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 …

STA BLOGS: UK Government Funding for Solar Heating Innovation

23rd November 2018 In this STA Blog, Dr Richard Hall of Energy Transitions explores the funding opportunities for the development of innovative solar heat technologies from Government sources. As discussed in my previous blog, the provision of affordable, low-carbon heat is a major global challenge, but one with great potential for renewable heat companies. Whether the solution is based around hydrogen or heat pumps, solar can play a pivotal role in supplying affordable clean energy. There are undoubtedly substantial business opportunities for those who can successfully bring new, affordable low-carbon heat technologies to the market. This momentum is increased by …

STA Blogs: How to Access Innovation Funding for Solar Heat

12th October 2018 In this STA Blog, Richard Hall of Energy Transitions details a number of challenges for the UK’s clean heat sector and outlines some exciting EU funding opportunities available. The provision of affordable, decarbonised heat is a major global challenge; one for which current and future renewable energy technologies have a great deal of potential to fulfil. Yet the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that global renewable heat consumption in 2017 amounted to 472Mtoe (million tonnes of oil equivalent). This represents just 9% (approximately) of the total global heat demand.

STA Blogs: EVs and Solar – a match made in renewable heaven?

31st August 2018 In this STA Blogs, Keenan Gratrick Managing Director of FlexiSolar outlines the harmonious relationship and bright futures of solar and EV’s.  It is often said that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. That’s exactly how I feel about Solar PV and Electric Vehicles (EV); with the interaction of these two elements being hugely powerful and essential for the future. Solar and EV concepts are more familiar to the general public than ever before. People are more mindful of their own energy usage and EV has been all over the news thanks to car manufacturers’ …

STA Blogs: Government must work with industry to avoid a hard “FexiT”

Chris Hewett, Chief Executive of the STA The Feed-in-Tariff and Renewables Obligation were hugely successful policies. Last year 3.6% of UK electricity came from solar (half as much as coal), last week it was over 10% and there have been many days this summer where the proportion has been above 25% in the middle of the day. At the same time costs have plummeted. Of course it’s been a very difficult few years in the industry as government support has been withdrawn at a rapid rate; the commercial rooftop market has been operating virtually without subsidy since 2016 and the …

STA Blogs: How the economics of solar can work for local Government

15th June 2018 Ever since I got into green energy, back in 2002, I have focussed on helping the public sector lower its carbon footprint, deliver more sustainable services and deploy renewables. This was both from the bottom up, in my days in a local environment charity in Wiltshire, and as in installer with my own business. I have also worked from the top down, through large-scale initiatives during my tenure leading Public Power Solutions in Swindon. In my own consultancy today I have structured several pioneering projects and was delighted to model the finances for typical council projects in …

STA Blogs: Opportunities for Behind The Meter Generation & Storage

Lior Handelsman, VP of Marketing and Product Strategy, founder of SolarEdge Typically, the energy generated by a homeowner’s PV system does not match energy usage. As such, the UK has relied on rate structures, such as feed-in tariffs, to deal with the excess energy produced. But, with the decline of these subsidies in the UK, system owners need to find a way to move past incentive structures and head towards using more of their solar energy in order to maximize their investment. Behind-the-meter technology, such as smart inverters and storage, can offer new and more efficient paths for future power …