UK: Solar Trade Association challenges government in new report

The solar industry in the United Kingdom (UK) has formed a group of solar industry experts to produce a report, challenging the direction of the government’s policy in terms of the photovoltaic sector. Called the ‘Solar Revolution Strategy’ the report claims that the solar industry in the UK could create 140,000 jobs by 2015 and 360,000 jobs by 2020.
The report is the reaction to the government’s scaling back of feed-in tariffs (FIT) and the fast track review of the scheme. Claiming that the government is missing out on a "global solar revolution" the report outlines a strategy of investment that is estimated to cost households between six and nine pounds per annum over the lifetime of the scheme.
The public funding envisaged in the scheme would amount to a doubling of existing levels totaling £1.2 billion by 2015. The Solar Trade Association has also launched an online campaign that aims to build pressure on politicians, business and community leaders.
As photovoltaic electricity generation requires no large-scale public infrastructure works, the report argues, a solar Britain represents vast savings over other future energy options including nuclear. Howard Johns, Chairman of the Solar Trade Association, accused the government of being out of step with a global movement towards solar power.
"We recognize that solar is a dynamic and fast-moving technology which needs regular appraisals in a complex context with specialists," said Johns. "We are keen and willing to work with the Government to set realistic targets and to help maximize the benefits and to understand the true potential for solar."
pv magazine has contacted the office of the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne, for comment.