UK solar industry wants capacity trebled this decade


With the solar generation capacity of the U.K. set to double this decade, industry body Solar Energy UK this morning spelled out how the volume could treble to the 40 GW needed to achieve the government's net-zero-emission ambition.

With government advisory body the Climate Change Committee having estimated the U.K. will need 40 GW of solar by 2030 to hit net zero, Solar Energy UK this morning published its Lighting The Way report spelling out how that figure can be reached.

The trade group has repeated its regular calls for reform of the business rates levied on commercial entities with solar rooftops, and the removal of VAT on solar systems, and considered the potential uplift for PV from improved building standards and incentives for the retrofitting of solar on buildings.

Alongside the familiar refrain demanding reform of the planning process, today's report also emphasizes the importance of keeping solar eligible for the biennial contracts-for-difference national renewable energy tenders, hinting at a fear the government might again be preparing to remove photovoltaics from the regime.

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Solar Energy UK said the industry is already on track to more than double to almost 29 GW of generation capacity this decade, even without the policy and regulatory support it has demanded and which, it says, has been offered by the government to peers in the offshore wind sector.

The report claims the installation of a cumulative 40 GW of solar by 2030 would also bring “thousands of skilled jobs” to the U.K. as well as £17 billion (€19.8 billion) of extra economic activity.

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