PRESS RELEASE: Renewables Frustrated Again by Budget

Solar Trade Association
Immediate Release
29 October 2018

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.

Chris Hewett, Chief Executive at the STA said: “Investment in renewable energy has plummeted in the UK and largely for want of fair tax and market treatment. The Chancellor has again missed a vital opportunity to do the right thing, not only by the planet and the thousands of people who want to support clean energy, but by simple fair market principles.

This government claims to support clean, green technologies, but this rhetoric is far from being matched by even the most modest of actions. Solar is the biggest clean energy market in the world today and by putting obstacles in the path of this technology the Government is frustrating the urgent energy transition and putting British industries at a disadvantage in global clean energy markets.”

This latest disappointment is a prime example of government inaction which was warned against in the recent special report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which calls for decision-makers to actively avoid ‘a lack of regulatory or policy commitment’ which fails to stimulate low-carbon investment. The report, which warns that we only have 12 years to avoid breaching 1.5oC of warming and catastrophic climate change, identified the bulk of the heavy lifting for climate change mitigation will be done by renewables. [1]

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, which will also hamstring the rollout of energy storage technologies. 

ENDS

Notes to editors

[1]  See our recent press release:  https://www.solar-trade.org.uk/press-release-sta-comments-on-ipcc-special-report-on-1-5c/

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Background on the Solar Trade Association:

The mission of the Solar Trade Association is to empower the UK solar transformation. We are paving the way for solar to deliver the maximum possible share of UK energy by 2030 by enabling a bigger and better solar industry. We represent both solar heat and power, and have a proven track record of winning breakthroughs for solar PV and solar thermal.