Majority of UK solar installers facing hardship if export tariff is culled, survey finds

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
In early August, our sister publication Solar Power Portal launched a survey of its readership, requesting views on the potential impacts of the government’s decision on their respective businesses. Credit: Getty

A majority of UK solar installers said they would face hardship if the government presses ahead with plans to close the export tariff, a survey from PV Tech's sister publication Solar Power Portal (SPP) has found.

And of those surveyed, more than half said the decision would result in them having to either downsize or close their business altogether.

The survey findings are being published ahead of forthcoming deadlines for responses to government documents. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s call for evidence on a future regulatory framework for small-scale renewables closes today, while a consultation on the closure of both the feed-in and export tariffs closes in a fortnight.

In early August, Solar Power Portal launched a survey of its readership, requesting views on the potential impacts of the government’s decision on their respective businesses.

And the findings are conclusive. Installers are expecting a considerable slump in deployment should the government curtail the export tariff with no replacement framework in place after 1 April 2019, with such a downturn resulting in business closures and redundancies.

Of those surveyed, an overwhelming 88% said they disagreed with the government’s proposals.

A significant majority meanwhile (73%) said the closure of the export tariff with no replacement framework – which by BEIS’ own impact assessment would reduce returns to around 1-2% – would have a negative impact on their day-to-day business activities.

As a result, more than half (57%) of respondents said they would be forced into either downsizing their business or closing it altogether, as a result of rooftop solar PV being rendered uneconomical by the decision.

The release of the survey findings comes amidst significant lobbying efforts from the industry. This morning the Solar Trade Association published an open letter addressed to energy and clean growth minister Claire Perry, co-signed by more than 200 stakeholders, urging BEIS to re-think its position on the export tariff.

“It is vital for government to ensure households and small businesses are taken on a clear & secure journey in the emerging smart energy system. It is not too late for some really positive policies given the potential of smart homes and businesses to save the system and our economy billions of pounds compared to business as usual. Removing illogical barriers to the 830,000 solar homes in the UK to installing battery storage and smart meters is also an easy win.

“Let’s be clear; we are not asking for subsidy. We are asking for fair treatment for the everyday people and businesses who want to invest in clean power to do something really meaningful to help tackle climate change. Government must support their efforts,” Chris Hewett, chief executive at the STA, said.

Read Next

October 6, 2021
Octopus Hydrogen, the green hydrogen arm of UK utility Octopus Energy, has signed a strategic partnership to roll out green hydrogen projects across the UK.
September 8, 2021
The UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is eyeing changes to its planning regime for 50MW+ solar sites, with energy storage developments increasing in the country as well.
August 24, 2021
Solar and storage developer Elgin Energy has closed a deal with Berenberg that will see the German bank finance the development of 1.36GWp of its PV portfolio.
June 28, 2021
The UK’s Climate Change Committee (CCC) has called for a “long-term ambition” for solar and other renewables.
June 18, 2021
In order to align with its net zero target, solar capacity in the UK needs to treble to 40GW by 2030, according to a new report from Solar Energy UK this week.
PV Tech Premium
February 1, 2021
Cero Generation, intended to be among the biggest solar development companies in Europe, has been launched by Australian giant Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG).

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021
Solar Media Events
February 1, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal