PRESS RELEASE: Solar industry welcomes CCC key principles for economic recovery post-COVID-19

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has set out six key principles for resilient economic recovery following the COVID-19 crisis, in which reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change is essential. [1] Welcoming the intervention, STA Chief Executive Chris Hewett said: “It is vital that the Government’s recovery package aligns with its obligation to tackle climate change and deliver a resilient, net zero economy.” The first CCC principle calls on the Government to “use climate investments to support economic recovery and jobs,” and highlights that “many are labour-intensive, spread across the UK and ready to roll out as …

PRESS RELEASE: Record solar outputs help UK to reach longest coal-free period since pre-industrial times

Maximised levels of solar generation have ensured the delivery of a new coal-free record period for the grid. Coal power plants have been offline since 00:00 on Friday 10 April 2020, [1] and since then the UK has seen more than 1 terawatt hour of solar power put on the grid in that period [2] – enough to boil water for over 25 billion cups of tea or drive 6.7 billion kilometres in a Nissan Leaf. [3] STA Chief Executive Chris Hewett said: “Solar is playing a critical role in delivering a fossil-free grid and cleaner, cheaper power to Britain. …

PRESS RELEASE: UK solar peak generation record broken amid fall in pollution levels

Clear skies and cool temperatures have helped UK solar to break the all-time peak generation record. Around 12:30 on Monday 20 April 2020, a peak of 9.68GW was recorded by Sheffield Solar live PV generation tracker, [1] surpassing the previous record of 9.55GW set on 14 May 2019. [2] At the time of the peak, solar was meeting almost 30% of UK electricity demand. STA Chief Executive Chris Hewett said: “Ideal weather conditions and lower levels of pollution than normal mean solar is providing record levels of cheap, clean power to the grid. At a time when most of us …

PRESS RELEASE: STA reaction to 2020 Budget

STA Chief Executive Chris Hewett said: “Unfortunately this Budget is thin on measures to tackle climate change and support the transition to a low-carbon economy. Renewables are vital to reaching net zero, and without good policies in place to support the uptake of solar we will fall well short of the 40 gigawatts needed by 2030 to keep on track. Time is running out to act.” “The freeze on the carbon price support rate is particularly disappointing, as is the lack of any meaningful policy on energy efficiency and green improvements for existing homes, such as solar and battery storage.” …

PRESS RELEASE: Solar industry calls for net zero Budget

The STA is calling on the government to deliver a budget that unlocks the potential of solar energy in the UK and empowers the transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions. Exemption for solar from business rates, fair tax treatment, zero-interest loans for green home improvements and a commitment to procure renewable energy for the civic estate are the key recommendations made to the Treasury in the association’s budget representation. [1] Additionally, a recommendation that the Government hold regular CfD auctions which include solar was adopted as policy last week. [2] STA Chief Executive said: “This government has begun to …

PRESS RELEASE: Solar industry hails Government plans to run new clean power auctions

Today the STA has welcomed Government plans to hold a new round of clean power auctions, set to take place in 2021, for solar and onshore wind. A new Contracts for Difference auction will enable greater deployment of the cleanest, cheapest forms of power generation today, cutting costs to consumers by £200m-£300m annually. [1] The policy is one of the STA’s key priorities for 2020. [2] Chief Executive Chris Hewett said: “Today’s announcement marks a major shift in the right direction for Government policy on onshore renewables, and a welcome opportunity for the solar industry.” “New clean power auctions for …

PRESS RELEASE: STA sets out ten key recommendations for Ofgem’s decarbonisation action plan

Today the STA has submitted its response to Ofgem’s Decarbonisation Programme Action Plan [1] [2], highlighting several major gaps in relation to decentralised renewable energy technologies such as solar and energy storage and setting out ten key recommendations to address industry concerns and deliver on Net Zero. [3] STA Policy Manager Cameron Witten said: “Whilst Ofgem has begun to scratch the surface of how it can support the transition to Net Zero, the action plan has several omissions relating to the renewables and energy storage sector that are mission critical to accelerating the deployment of solar. It is essential that …

PRESS RELEASE: Government deployment stats fail to accurately capture >50kW PV systems

The STA continues to call on the Government to address serious flaws in the accuracy of its photovoltaic deployment data following the publication of its latest statistics, which state that solar deployment in 2019 was down by over 60MW compared to 2018, suggesting the slowest year for the industry since 2010. [1] However, the statistics fail to accurately capture PV systems sized above 50kW, with no update to the ‘50 kW to ≤ 5 MW’ category since March 2019, and only one large-scale site added to ‘> 25 MW’ category in 2019, a 34.7MWp array completed in December by GRIDSERVE. …

PRESS RELEASE: STA and MCS announce joint membership benefits

As part of a new partnership between the two organisations announced today, all new members of the Solar Trade Association will receive ten MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) credits worth £30 each, while existing members will be able to claim five free credits each year. Furthermore, small solar installation businesses who are accredited members of MCS and a registered consumer code will be entitled to a discount of £100 off their STA membership. This is a 25% reduction for the smallest companies. The partnership comes at a pivotal time in the domestic solar market, with the number of installations likely to …

PRESS RELEASE: Smart Export Guarantee to sweeten domestic solar deal

Following a nine-month policy gap, owners of small solar PV systems are set to once again be legally entitled to remuneration for excess solar power put on the grid. From 01 January 2020, large suppliers will be obligated to offer a tariff for small-scale solar power exports, which should help to sweeten the deal for new solar owners, who will also benefit from lower energy bills. [1] STA Chief Executive Chris Hewett said: “It’s a New Year and a positive new start for owners of small solar PV systems. After a nine-month policy gap, the new Smart Export Guarantee should …