Solar Trade Association (STA) has its sights set on the deployment of 10 GW of new solar capacity, almost doubling the nation’s current PV capacity. This is in line with the 40 GW of solar by 2030 outlined in the ‘high’ scenario for renewables developed by the Committee on Climate Change.
The association’s newly released manifesto highlights the broad benefits of solar deployment, including job creation, lower energy bills, billions in investment, improving energy infrastructure, lower carbon and cleaner air to name but a few.
STA has strongly opposed the current Government’s recent attitude to solar, after a tax hike to business rates caused rooftop installation rates to plummet in the first quarter of 2017. The trade body will be hoping for a shake up to the UK’s solar policy in the wake of the upcoming election on June 8th.
“Whichever party wins this election, they should remember that solar has already won the public vote by a landslide,” says STA CEO Paul Barwell. “If politicians really want to transform choice & competition in the energy market for good, their efforts are best spent making solar power and storage accessible to the millions of people and businesses who want it.”
Despite solar’s falling prices, the UK’s Government has lately shown little interest in increasing deployment in the UK. The most recent budget announcement, made by Chancellor Philip Hammond in March, included no mention of renewables, whilst pledging to investigate tax incentives to support the oil and gas industries.
“Unlocking the benefits of solar will be easy for the next Government because we are not looking for new subsidies,” continues Barwell. “The industry now urgently needs energy policy to work on a level playing field, with the grain of market forces.”
In its Manifesto, STA notes the achievements made by solar under the previous Government, where an estimated GBP 8 billion of investment was realized, and tens of thousands of jobs created. “With a stable and domestic solar market,” states an STA press release, “British firms could better pursue vast & growing international opportunities – estimated at US$3.7 trillion to 2040 – where solar leads global clean energy investment.”
“The speed and direction of technology is clear,” concludes Barwell. “Solar sits at the heart of a smart energy system that can save the UK billions.”