The U.K.’s Clean Energy Live show kicked off in Birmingham on Tuesday, taking a holistic approach to the country’s energy issues. The show nevertheless examined those sectors that adding new PV installations in the U.K. today, and set to do so in the forthcoming years.
Following the UK’s referendum result to exit the European Union, news from the country emerges at a speed that is hard to monitor and last week the energy community discussed EDF’s call for a final decision regarding a new U.K. nuclear plant. Adding to the Brexit gloom and the anticipation of EDF’s decision this week is the certainty the U.K. solar industry can expect nothing other than a zero subsidy future.
The United Kingdom of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland has voted in yesterdays referendum to end its membership in the European Union. What does this mean for the country’s renewable energy sector?
Solar power is at the forefront of a smarter energy sector, but to enable a new wave of PV installations in Europe, solar needs new regulatory frameworks that value flexibility, says the Smart Energy UK and Europe conference in London.
The U.K. government has awarded £40 million to four British cities to support the spread of electrical and low-emission vehicles. Supported projects include car-charging street lighting and zones offering free parking and traffic priority to plug-in and low-emission cars. The initiative is seen as another step towards the smart energy revolution.
A grassroots project in Cornwall, England, is examining ways to implement a special, so-called “sunshine tariff.” The project, although small in scale, could provide the template for the solar business models of the new era of zero subsidies.
The concept of the smart home is emerging as a hot topic in the debate regarding the U.K.’s energy future. At the EcoBuild last week, a special session entitled “Smart and Efficient Use of Future Energy” depicted accurately the central role solar PV plays in the transition to the smart era. It also highlighted how innovation leadership is coming from small, bottom-up firms as utilities and policy-makers struggle to adapt and embrace the new technologies.
The fund plans to acquire two PV plants with a combined capacity of 74 MW and expects to continue acquisitions of plants below and above 5 MW following the introduction of next year’s CfD scheme.
The increased budget will be split between the various renewable energy technologies bidding for subsidy support. The country’s Solar Trade Association says the government’s decisions “represent serious tragic mistakes in energy policy.”
pv magazine’s Ilias Tsagas argues that should Scotland’s population vote today in favor of independence, this will not hurt its renewable energy sector but might give it a further boost.
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