PRESS RELEASE: STA slams inaccurate government solar deployment figures

Solar Trade Association
Immediate Release
30 August 2019

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 statistics which clearly do not capture the full picture of UK PV deployment.

We are particularly concerned with the large-scale commercial and industrial rooftop PV market, as these systems are too large to be captured by MCS registration. Our members are seeing significant growth across this space, from supermarket rooftops to football stadiums, and the lack of visibility of this capacity is holding back energy system innovation and decarbonisation.

As the Energy Data Taskforce stated in their report earlier this year, an estimated 10% of assets are not visible to the electricity system operator today. How will we know if we are on track to reach Net Zero if the government cannot even be certain of what is connected to the grid? This clearly demonstrates the urgent need for a coordinated asset registration strategy, and a centralised energy data catalogue that is accessible to industry. We reiterate our call upon government and respective agencies to swiftly implement the recommendations of the Energy Data Taskforce.

Timely, detailed and accurate market data for the entirety of the small-scale renewable electricity and energy storage industry is critical for:

  • Ensuring safe, efficient and cost-effective grid operation and electricity supply
  • Providing an accurate picture of the market landscape to drive investment and new business models
  • Providing a robust evidence base for research, innovation and policy-making

Prior to summer recess, a number of MPs, including SNP Energy Spokesperson Drew Hendry, queried the accuracy of BEIS’ solar deployment figures through written questions to the Secretary of State at the time. [4]

 

ENDS​

 

Editors notes:

[1] Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – Solar photovoltaics deployment: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/solar-photovoltaics-deployment

[2] Solar Trade Association – Industry Hails Strategy for Modern Digitalised Energy System: https://www.solar-trade.org.uk/industry-hails-strategy-for-modern-digitalised-energy-system/

[3] Energy Data Taskforce –  A Strategy for a Modern Digitalised Energy System: https://es.catapult.org.uk/news/energy-data-taskforce-report/

[4] Parliament.uk – Solar Power:Written question – 253649: https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2019-05-13/253649/

 

For further information or to request an interview, please contact:

Name: Jack Dobson-Smith

Title: Public Affairs & Communications Officer

Main line: 0203 637 2946

 

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 plus energy storage, and have a proven track record of winning breakthroughs for all three technologies.