Refurb & Retrofit

Govt must commit to 2030 solar target to drive green recovery says STA

The Solar Trade Association (STA) is urging government to commit to a target of 40GW of solar capacity by 2030.

In a letter to Alok Sharma, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, STA Chief Executive Chris Hewett said: 

“Now is the time for the Government to commit to action. A 40 gigawatt target aligns with the recommendations of Britain’s top climate advisors, and the industry is ready to scale up operations to deliver this, with the support of a robust policy framework.”

“Unleashing the potential of solar in the UK would rapidly create thousands of skilled jobs across the country. Our industry can help to spread the green recovery from Land’s End to John O’Groats.”

The STA letter coincides with the publication of a policy paper that sets out how the to unlock the recovery potential of UK solar. The paper calls for the government to focus on boosting ground-mounted commercial rooftop and residential markets.

In 2020 solar has contributed to a record period of 67 coal-free days and counting, generating over 4TWh since lockdown began

This includes a green tax reform to ensure continued sustainable growth, with rooftop solar and battery storage exempted from business rates; and support for innovation and energy efficiency, implement high, ambitious new build minimum energy efficiency standards keeping to the timelines set out in the Future Homes Standard consultation.

Green finance, such as  grants and zero interest loans, should also be made available for domestic and commercial building owners to install solar and storage through or other fiscal incentives.

The paper outlines a further seven policies that the government should implement in the medium-term to further unlock the potential of UK solar, including powering public buildings with 100% renewables, scrapping VAT for solar and battery storage, and strengthening the UK’s commitment to carbon pricing.

In 2020 solar has contributed to a record period of 67 coal-free days and counting, generating over 4TWh since lockdown began. The technology has continued to break records throughout 2020, including contributing to a new lowest carbon intensity record for the grid, set on Sunday 24 May 2020, during a month where solar power met over 11% of UK electricity demand. There is approximately 13.5GW of solar currently deployed in the UK.

Read the policy paper

Featured image credit:

DECC, Bentley Motors rooftop array (CC By-ND 2.0)

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