PRESS RELEASE: STA response to BBC article on Barclays loan mis-selling

This morning (09 September 2019), the BBC published an article entitled ‘Thousands complain about solar panels’. [1] Two defunct companies, PV Solar UK and MyPlanet, are accused of mis-selling loans from Barclays bank to fund domestic solar PV systems. Neither were members of the STA at any point in time. STA Chief Executive Chris Hewett said; “This news highlights how vital it is that standards are enforced and consumers protected. We advise anyone looking to have solar and battery storage installed on their home to use reputable companies that are members of the Microgeneration Certification Scheme, and a member of …

PRESS RELEASE: Omission from Government Plan alarms Scottish solar industry

Yesterday (03 September 2019) the Scottish Government published its Plan for Scotland, which includes an ambitious proposal for rapid decarbonisation in line with commitments to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. While the STA welcomes scaling-up national ambition to tackle climate change, the glaring omission of solar PV and thermal has left the Scottish solar industry unsettled. Solar is a vital technology for delivering on Net Zero and it is already delivering substantial benefits for Scottish households and communities. STA Scotland has written to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urgently requesting a meeting to discuss the matter. STA Scotland …

PRESS RELEASE: STA slams inaccurate government solar deployment figures

Yesterday (29 August 2019) the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published its latest figures on solar PV deployment in the UK. [1] The STA is again questioning the accuracy of these figures, and calling on BEIS to implement the recommendations of the Energy Data Taskforce which includes introducing a generation asset registration system as this is the only approach that will enable truly accurate monitoring of solar PV and battery storage deployment. [2] [3] STA Chief Executive Chris Hewett said; “It is time for BEIS to either get its house in order or stop publishing these meaningless …

PRESS RELEASE: Industry welcomes Science & Technology Committee report recommendations on Clean Growth Strategy

This morning, the Science & Technology Committee published a report on the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy [1] in which it called for “strong policy support” for new solar power. Many of the recommendations made echo those which the STA has been calling for in recent years, such as reducing business rates for companies generating their own renewable power through rooftop PV. STA Chief Executive Chris Hewett said; “This report is a welcome addition to the growing body of literature that is calling on the government to bring down barriers to solar and energy storage in the UK. With a legally-binding …

PRESS RELEASE: Industry calls on suppliers to put solar export offers on the table

STA Chief Executive Chris Hewett has sent an open letter to the Big 6 and other electricity suppliers calling for export tariff offers to be put to solar households in advance of the 1 January 2020 deadline under the government’s Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). [1] Over three months after the closure of the administered export tariff only Octopus Energy has offers open to all solar homes exporting power to the grid. Chris Hewett said; “There is a real appetite in the UK for domestic solar and storage; surveys show three in five people [2] are keen to install these technologies on and in their properties …

PRESS RELEASE: STA underlines current scope for action on “Groundhog Day” CCC 2019 Progress Report to Parliament

Commenting on the CCC 2019 Progress Report to Parliament [1] STA Chief Executive Chris Hewett said; “For four years now the Committee on Climate Change has been urging the Government to get behind the most popular and cost-effective renewables. In what is now surely a national Groundhog Day, we again fully support their calls for technology neutral auctions that provide a secure route-to-market for large-scale solar. On the publication of last year’s Progress Report we said the Government must now surely listen and act. Not only has nothing happened but the policy framework has actually gone backwards for solar.” The …

PRESS RELEASE: STA Showcases Solar Park Boost for Nature

A new report “The Natural Capital Value of Solar” by the Solar Trade Association, endorsed by the Natural Capital Coalition, the Centre for Alternative Technology, and Ashden, sets out best practice case studies of well-designed and well-managed solar farms which deliver broad benefits for British biodiversity and sustainable agriculture [1]. Recent biodiversity audits on solar parks owned by STA members found six times more pollinators than in adjacent fields [2]. The best-practice case studies by STA members Next Energy Capital, Foresight Group, Bluefield LLP, Low Carbon and Greencoat Capital, demonstrate a wide range of ecosystem services that quality solar parks can provide including; biodiversity and …

PRESS RELEASE: Actions must match net zero targets

Last week the STA contacted all 17 members of the relevant Delegated Legislation Committee urging them not to vote through the statutory instrument that will potentially see the level of VAT charged to households installing solar and battery storage together rise to 20%. The request has been reiterated in a letter from STA Chief Executive Chris Hewett sent to all members of the Committee today. [1]   The Committee, which meets at 4:30pm today, could vote through a change that will see the VAT rate rise on ‘energy saving materials’ where the cost of the materials exceeds 60% of the overall cost of the installation. Currently, installations of …

PRESS RELEASE: Industry Hails Strategy for Modern Digitalised Energy System

Today Energy Systems Catapult published a new report by the Energy Data Taskforce which calls for a single data repository on all forms of energy generation to unlock the benefits of decarbonisation and decentralisation through better use of data. The report calls for all energy system data to be presumed open, which will render energy generating assets and infrastructure visible to all though a ‘Digital System Map of the Energy System’. [1] Chris Hewett, Chief Executive at the STA said: “The urgent need for transparency within the energy sector has been abundantly clear for years. In particular, the report’s Asset …