UK: Little in budget for PV


Following the upheavals experienced after a new FIT regime was introduced in 2012, the photovoltaic industry has had a challenging time in the U.K. in recent times. There appears little relief in the form of support from the government in its latest budget, which has be criticized by the country’s STA and Renewable Energy Association (REA).

Responding to what she believes is a lack of governmental support, the STA’s Leonie Greene said, "Renewable technologies like solar need bold leadership and a positive vision if we’re to compete successfully in the global race the Prime Minister keeps highlighting. We’re on a path to nowhere if this chancellor continues to ignore climate change, the economic potential of the green economy, and the dangerous upward trajectory of fossil fuel prices."

In specific terms, the STA expressed its disappointment that there were no changes to Carbon Reduction Commitment measures, which it believes dis-incentivizes commercial application of solar. The STA also pointed to the Energy Bill alone being insufficient to encourage utility-scale deployment of solar in the country, and instead said that it would support a Green Power Auction Market system, which has been advocated by academics in the press.

The Renewable Energy Association (REA) also responded unfavorably to the budget, describing it as "more of the same" for renewables.

Reacting to budget, REA’s Chief Executive Gaynor Hartnell said that the current government energy policy is sending mixed messages. "The Budget referred to the Energy Bill, but our members are skeptical that the new regime will bring forward the major investments needed," she said. "We are working with DECC to resolve this, but there are no guarantees at this stage. The chancellor missed an opportunity today to ensure us that there is consistent, strong support for our sector across Government."