UK launches Europe’s first dedicated solar strategy

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

The UK has become the first European government to publish a dedicated solar PV strategy.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) published the long-awaited Solar Strategy today, designed to enact a “further step change in deployment” for solar in the UK.

The strategy places particular emphasis on encouraging the deployment of rooftop solar, especially the underperforming commercial-scale sector. In addition, the strategy confirms that the government is targeting one million solar homes by 2015. There was potentially ominous news for the UK’s booming ground-mount sector however. The UK is set to overtake Germany for the first quarter of 2014 as the largest European market for PV deployment.

Launching the Solar Strategy, energy minister Greg Barker said: “We have managed to put ourselves among the world leaders on solar and this strategy will help us stay there. There is massive potential to turn our large buildings into power stations and we must seize the opportunity this offers to boost our economy.

“Solar not only benefits the environment, it has the potential to create thousands of jobs across the region and deliver the clean and reliable energy supplies that the country needs at the lowest possible cost to consumers.”

Chief executive for the UK's Solar Trade Association, Paul Barwell, praised the government’s move, he said: “Solar has not only been recognised by DECC as a key UK technology, but now has its own dedicated strategy – the first in Europe. Minister Greg Barker has championed solar power specifically because he knows it has the greatest potential to empower millions of people across the UK with low-cost green energy. Solar will also provide thousands of good quality local jobs.”

However, the UK ground-mount solar sector could face a fresh challenge following the strategy. In the document DECC admits that the ground-mount pipeline had been “much stronger than anticipated in government modelling” and that the level of take up “has the potential to affect the financial incentives budget under the levy control framework”. DECC states that it is concerned that, left “uncorrected”, large-scale solar could “erode the approval rating of the sector overall”.     

The strategy also fails to identify any specific targets for solar deployment, using the same figures published in the electricity market reform document which states that 10-12GW of PV could be deployed by 2020. However, the strategy does confirm the minister’s oft-stated ambition of 20GW by 2020, albeit with the caveat “the ability to achieve such a high level of deployment will be predicated by a number of factors. These include available budget within the levy control framework”.

But the solar industry has welcomed the new commitments under the strategy to help stimulate uptake in the commercial sector. Most notably, DECC has confirmed that it is working on allowing permitted development rights for roof-mounted solar up to 1MW as well as working with Ofgem to simplify the ROO-FiT application process. The department has also hinted that it is “considering changes to the financial support available to the sector to encourage further deployment”.

Talking to PV Tech, Ray Noble, co-chair of the strategy commented: “The hard work has now been done in pulling together all of the facts, ensuring that all understand the issues, identifying barriers to future growth, and ensuring that the benefits of solar are fully understood. The Solar Strategy should provide the necessary comfort to all types of potential customers that solar in the UK makes total sense.

“We still have work to do in developing solutions to some of the barriers but working with government these will be sorted during 2014.

Noble concluded: “The message to the solar industry is full speed ahead, and the message to the minister is we will achieve your ambition of 20GW.”

The full Solar Strategy document can be found here.

22 September 2021
To commemorate the World Energy Storage Day(WESD) on 22 September, being recognized worldwide, Customized Energy Solutions (CES) and India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) is organising the 5th global conference and virtual expo, which will be held virtually on 22 September 2021. WESD is a global movement initiated by various apex trade bodies working to promote and adopt energy storage, e-mobility & green hydrogen technologies for a sustainable future. The forthcoming edition of WESD is expected to attract global participation with an intent to facilitate bi-lateral trade, market development and new research and innovation, which will invite 100+ countries, 100+ regulators & policy makers, 100+ International speakers,1000+ organisations, 100+ partners & exhibitors and 20,000+ global delegates.
28 September 2021
Solar Solutions International is the largest trade show for solar energy in Northwest Europe. Now the solar market has grown up, it's time for the next step. Solar Solutions International displays more than 500 innovations and over 100 practical seminars concerning the latest in energy storage, smart products, and an ever evolving array of solar panels. As an exclusively B2B trade show, Solar Solutions International offers both exhibitors and visitors the chance to network at the highest level. Duurzaam Verwarmd, the largest trade show for sustainable HVAC technology in the Benelux, is held simultaneously. This way your one visit gets you up to date with all of the developments in both sustainable energy and heating.
6 October 2021
Intersolar Europe is the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry. It takes place as part of The smarter E Europe – the continent’s largest platform for the energy industry. Under the motto “Connecting solar business,” manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, service providers and project planners and developers from around the world meet in Munich every year to discuss the latest developments and trends, explore innovations firsthand and meet potential new customers.
6 October 2021
The future is bright for a new era of US solar and storage, and the 8th annual Solar & Storage Finance Summit will provide opportunities to discuss solutions to the industry’s challenges and provide a networking platform designed to bring together the top minds in the industry to do business. With a mix of high-level, informative presentations and panels, a stellar cast of speakers and audience members with deal-making capacity, the 2021 edition of the event will be a sell-out success.
18 October 2021
Intersolar South America, South America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry, takes place at the Expo Center Norte in São Paulo, Brazil on October 18–20, 2021, and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. At the accompanying Intersolar South America Conference, renowned experts shed light on hot topics in the solar industry.
19 October 2021
This year’s EV World Congress will hold a special role, not only as the first live EverythingEV event in over a year – a chance to renew your connections and re-engage with the EV sector face to face – but also as a chance to share insight and inspiration as world starts to look towards move on post COVID towards hitting ambitious decarbonisation goals in 2030 and beyond. As ever, we will be bringing world leading organisations, cities, and technology providers to the UK to inspire EV innovators, and delve into the challenges facing the sector as the UK looks to revolutionise road transport.

Read Next

September 22, 2021
More than 190 US solar companies have warned that proposed duties on imports of modules and cells from three Southeast Asian countries represent an “immediate and serious threat” to America’s solar sector.
September 22, 2021
Access to off-grid electricity should be seen as a key mechanism to drive rural development and improve economic wellbeing and living standards in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), according to a new report by University College London’s (UCL) Engineering for International Development Centre and off-grid, pay-as-you go solar company BBOXX.
September 22, 2021
A project combining 300MWac of solar with a 150MWac/600MWh battery energy storage facility in New Mexico has advanced after DE Shaw agreed to acquire it.
September 22, 2021
Generac Power Systems has bolstered its presence in the microinverter segment with the launch of a new product line that it says allows homeowners to take advantage of the full potential output of solar arrays.
September 22, 2021
Oil and gas major Shell has launched the Shell Energy brand in Brazil and has committed to investing R$3 billion (US$570 million) in renewables in the country by the end of 2025
September 22, 2021
China has appealed a recent World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling that rejected the country’s challenges to the US' safeguard tariffs on certain crystalline silicon PV cells.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021