PRESS RELEASE: Industry welcomes plans to exempt energy storage from NSIP regime

Today the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published a consultation on proposals to exempt energy storage from the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP) regime in England and Wales. [1] These proposals are welcomed by the STA, as they will allow energy storage projects, such as battery plants, to be subject to a swifter, less costly planning process. STA Chief Executive Chris Hewett said: “We are pleased to see that the government has taken our feedback on board. This is a promising step forward for enabling energy storage to be connected more swiftly, and giving local communities …

PRESS RELEASE: Industry welcomes NIC call for new regulator powers to reach net zero

On Friday 11 October 2019 the National Infrastructure Commission published a report calling for new powers to be handed to Ofgem and other sector regulators to “promote the achievement of net zero by 2050 and improve resilience,” and for government to set out a long-term strategic vision for each of the regulated sectors. [1] The STA welcomes the recommendations made by the Commission. [2] STA Chief Executive Chris Hewett said: “It is vital that every regulator, government department, and public institution is geared towards a net zero future. We welcome these recommendations as a crucial step which would serve to …

PRESS RELEASE: Over half of all local authorities already enforcing higher building standards

New research by the STA reveals Scottish and English councils in race to the top on new homes policy Today the STA has published new research on local authority building standards, revealing which have made efforts to go above national standards. [1] In January this year the STA issued Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to every local authority in the UK. Analysis of the responses reveal over half (51%) of all local authorities have implemented standards that go above national requirements with more than one in every six of these local authorities (17%) setting policies which the STA considers to …

PRESS RELEASE: Solar industry welcomes proposals for higher building standards

Yesterday afternoon (1 October 2019), the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government published a consultation on the Future Homes Standard, regarding changes to Part L (conservation of fuel and power) of the Building Regulations for new dwellings. [1] The consultation sets out two options to uplift energy efficiency standards, one that would deliver a 20% reduction in carbon emissions, based on “very high fabric standards”, and one that would deliver a 31% carbon emissions reduction based on “the installation of carbon-saving technology such as photovoltaic (solar) panels and better fabric standards”. The latter is the ministry’s preferred option on …

PRESS RELEASE: STA calls on government to cease publishing inaccurate deployment stats

This morning (26 September 2019), the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published its latest figures on solar PV deployment in the UK. [1] The figures have been deemed inaccurate by the STA as the methodology for data collection relies on subsidy schemes that are no longer in operation, including the Feed-in Tariff, which was drawn to a close at the end of March this year. The STA is calling on BEIS to cease publishing these inaccurate statistics, and to swiftly implement the recommendations of the Energy Data Taskforce, which include introducing a generation asset registration system, to …

PRESS RELEASE: STA Director of Advocacy Léonie Greene scoops Lifetime Achievement award

  Industry recognition for achievements of Léonie Greene Seasoned solar campaigner and longstanding member of the STA team wins Lifetime Achievement award at the 2019 Solar & Storage Awards. This week at the 2019 Solar & Storage Live Awards, STA Director of Advocacy Léonie Greene scooped the Lifetime Achievement award in recognition of her years of dedication to campaigning on behalf of the industry. Léonie Greene’s commitment to driving solar and decentralised energy in the UK goes back over a decade, having initiated a Decentralised Energy campaign while acting as Political Advisor at Greenpeace in 2006. Over the course of …

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 …