PRESS RELEASE: Solar industry welcomes DfT funding for innovative solar technology trials

Today the Department for Transport published plans to fund trials of two distinct and innovative solar technologies which could help decarbonise Britain’s railways and future-proof its roads. A project which sees solar panels used to directly power trains has won a share of a £1.75million pot allocated to carbon-cutting rail schemes [1], while two projects, in Buckinghamshire and Central Bedfordshire, are set to test the potential of solar at surface-level, receiving £4.49million and £1.05million respectively to trial solar roads and footways [2]. STA Chief Executive Chris Hewett said; “It is fantastic to see solar innovation being championed in the UK. …

PRESS RELEASE: STA responds to BEIS publication of ‘export tariff’ consultation

A consultation has been published today by BEIS on how a replacement for the export tariff could work. The consultation reflects extensive work by the STA, working with innovative suppliers and battery storage providers, on the current barriers to market offers for the small volumes of power coming from new solar homes. STA Chief Executive Chris Hewett said; “We give these proposals a cautious welcome. We are very pleased the Government is unequivocal; small generators will be compensated for the power they contribute to the system, but the issue remains providing remuneration at a fair market rate. We are particularly …

PRESS RELEASE: Government confirms closure of export tariff

The Government published their response to the consultation on the Feed-in Tariff today, which delivers another disappointing blow to the solar industry and to the general public who want to engage with clean energy. Over 60% of people [1] say they want to install solar power yet the Government confirmed today it will end not only the Feed-In Tariff, as expected, but also the export tariff, which provides a relatively fair payment to people putting clean energy on the networks (albeit at a level significantly below 2018 average wholesale prices). STA Chief Executive Chris Hewett said;

PRESS RELEASE: STA strengthened by three new Board members

The STA is delighted to welcome three new appointments to the Board representing key industry sectors. They join during a challenging period for the solar and nascent battery storage industries in the UK as we head towards a market competitive environment and fight for fair tax and market treatment of the UK’s favourite energy technology. Ahead of tomorrow’s Board meeting STA Chair Jonathan Selwyn said; “The Board is delighted to be joined by three talented and influential individuals who will each bring unique skills and knowledge to the Association at a key moment for the industry. Working closely with the Executive team, the …

PRESS RELEASE: Cost of UK large-scale solar could drop below £40/MWh by 2030

The STA has conducted a fresh assessment of large-scale solar costs which was explored with leading energy analysts & BEIS at an expert workshop today. The STA’s last assessment of solar’s Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE), published in November 2014, had anticipated costs of around £80MWh in 2019. The updated analysis for 2019 shows that solar has gone beyond the STA’s earlier expectations with LCOE costs of around £50-60/MWh in 2019, a figure which is also significantly below BEIS’s 2016 Central Estimate of Electricity Generation Costs. Although costs vary significantly on a site by site basis, the findings confirm that …

PRESS RELEASE: Ofgem clarification removes barrier to battery storage for 900,000 solar homes

Updated technical guidance by Ofgem [1] has been released, that clarifies the treatment of existing payments for homes that currently export solar power to the grid and that want to install battery storage and smart meters. The clarification is good news for existing solar homes looking to invest in battery storage alongside a smart meter because it means they will continue to be eligible to keep their ‘deemed’ [estimated] [2] payments for their solar exports. The market had previously been hindered by conflicting guidance. Nick Wood, Powervault and Chair of the STA’s Residential Energy Storage Working Group said; “Government has …

PRESS RELEASE: Statement on Ofgem Targeted Charging Review: minded to decision and draft impact assessment

Responding to Ofgem’s minded-to decision on reform to residual charges and embedded benefits, Solar Trade Association Chief Executive Chris Hewett said: “As the consultation document recognises, ‘any method of residual charging will lead to some distortions’. It is important that those distortions don’t fall on innovative individuals and companies that are investing for a cleaner, cheaper and smarter energy system. We will look at this complex consultation in detail, but we are naturally concerned that Ofgem’s own analysis shows that its approaches will particularly impact homes and businesses with solar power.

PRESS RELEASE: STA welcomes Claire Perry pledge on solar export to grid

Today the STA hailed a significant breakthrough for its #Fair4Solar campaign during the BEIS Oral Questions, in which Energy Minister Claire Perry stated that “solar power should not be provided to the grid for free”, representing a shift in government stance on the issue of fair payments for surplus electricity sold to the grid. Responding to a question from Kevin Hollinrake MP, she said “I do completely agree that solar power should not be provided to the grid for free and that’s why I’ll shortly be announcing the next steps for small scale renewables.”

PRESS RELEASE: Renewables Frustrated Again by Budget

The STA expressed bitter disappointment with today’s Autumn budget announcement which saw no progress on reasonable industry requests for fair tax treatment. Barriers to the uptake of solar and storage in the UK, which put clean energy at a competitive disadvantage compared to fossil fuels, remain in place. This includes business rates and capital allowance treatment. Tax disadvantages will continue to hamper the progress of renewables and smart energy in Britain, just as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that the time left to act is fast running out.

PRESS RELEASE: Industry calls on Treasury to deliver #Fair4Solar Budget

Despite being the public’s most popular form of electricity generation, and the largest clean energy market in the world, several barriers remain in existence which limit the uptake of solar in the UK. This year, deployment in solar PV has fallen to an eight-year low, with just 200MW of deployment expected for 2018, representing a 95% fall compared to 2015. This has had serious implications for the industry, with some of the UK’s largest solar companies struggling to maintain an installer base. This is taking place at a time when urgent action is needed to tackle the looming risk of …