Solar generators need long-term contracts to deliver subsidy-free power

Tomorrow, July 4, the Solar Trade Association is marks UK 'Solar Independence Day'
Tomorrow, July 4, the Solar Trade Association celebrates UK ‘Solar Independence Day’

It’s been a mixed year for solar power this year but some major milestones have also been reached. 

UK solar generation beat coal and overtook nuclear for the first time – and a solar-power aircraft flew around the world

The technology landscape is evolving faster than ever around solar to deliver total solutions; smart grids, EVs and storage. Independence from volatile energy prices, from the geopolitical tensions associated with fossil fuel imports, from dangerous climate change is increasingly within our grasp.

But, on the downside, the latest Government figures confirm that solar deployment rates remain stalled, with only a 0.2% increase or 25MW – equivalent to five factory roofs – in capacity delivered in the last three months.

And also according to BEIS data, the UK has the fourth biggest challenge across the whole EU to reach its 15% renewable target by 2020.

Chris Hewett, Policy Manager at the Solar Trade Association, said: “The Committee on Climate Change has made is clear that solar power is now cheaper than that generated by fossil fuels.

“We know that investors are ready to deliver more projects, but need clarity of the future market before releasing more capital.

“So we agree with the CCC recommendation that Government moves quickly to fill a policy gap by creating a subsidy-free auction for long-term Contracts for Difference for mature low-carbon technologies.

“A programme of regular CfD contracting is required as a pragmatic and cost-effective approach to delivering the low-carbon generation required to replace retiring generation beyond 2020, including ‘subsidy-free’ rounds for mature technologies that require long-term contracts

“We also need a clear policy road map to achieve the flexibility in the electricity system so distributed low-carbon generation, such as solar, can be maximised.

“And new buildings should be constructed to be built to be highly energy efficient and that there was no robust evidence that doing so would appreciably reduce or delay new housing supply to meet Government targets for new housing”.

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