STATEMENT: Farewell to tireless solar campaigner Léonie Greene

After a decade devoted to the UK solar industry, Leonie Greene, is stepping down from her role at the STA to pursue other career opportunities. We were delighted that Leo was recently presented with the Lifetime Achievement award at this year’s Solar and Storage Live Awards in recognition of her tireless campaigning and passionate support for our industry, not only for the STA, but also for previous work at the REA and Greenpeace. The STA and the whole UK solar industry will be forever grateful for her huge contribution towards putting solar firmly on the map in this country. We …

PRESS RELEASE: Industry praises Labour Party’s decarbonised energy ambitions Copy

Today (24 October 2019) the Labour Party published an expert briefing outlining its ambitions for the decarbonisation of heat and power by 2030. [1] In the briefing, the party specifies a target of 35GW of solar PV deployment by 2030, and recommends delivering this via a range of policies, including a technology-neutral ‘floor-price’ Contracts for Difference (CfD) mechanism [2], prioritising PV plus storage as a solution to grid congestion, and removing the Climate Change Levy (CCL) on corporate Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). STA Chief Executive Chris Hewett said: “We welcome the ambition of the Labour target for carbon reduction by …

PRESS RELEASE: STA announces partnership with security firm SmartWater

Today (22 October 2019) the Solar Trade Association is pleased to announce a partnership with security specialists SmartWater. Under the terms of the partnership, STA members are entitled to an exclusive discount of more than 25% off the installation of SmartWater’s unique asset marking technology, and more than 15% off the annual site licence fee. The STA will also be collaborating with SmartWater to develop and implement a site security incident monitoring and reporting system, including a monitoring “Dashboard” integrating rural crime data from across the UK, to provide site area security alerts to STA members. STA Chief Executive Chris …

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 …