Solar could play a major role in UK

Renewable power from solar energy could help the UK reach its carbon targets and provide a huge boost to the economy. This is according to a new report recently published […]

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By Tom Gibson

Renewable power from solar energy could help the UK reach its carbon targets and provide a huge boost to the economy. This is according to a new report recently published by Ernst and Young.

The ‘UK Solar PV Indistry Outlook for 50kw+’ claims that:

-Non-domestic solar could thrive in the UK without subsidy from 2017.

-UK solar projects are expected to be economic under 2 ROC support between 2012 and 2013.

-UK solar industry has the potential to create 15,000 jobs by 2015.

-Solar can help large businesses decarbonise.

A DECC spokesperson said: “We agree with Ernst and Young that solar PV prices have fallen dramatically, driven primarily by demand in other countries. If this trend continues, the sooner more people can benefit from PV on their own roofs here in the UK. However, the UK market for PV is comparatively small so our actions will not impact substantively on global prices but we are well placed to benefit from cost reductions.”

Ben Warren, Head of Renewable Energy at E&Y said: “Revisiting the FiT at such an early stage of its existence has undermined investor confidence not only in the UK solar industry, but also potentially in the wider UK renewables market. Regulatory uncertainty will lead to an increased cost of finance over what would have been achievable under a stable FiT regime, which would have accelerated the achievement of affordable solar in the UK”.

Earlier in the month the Solar Trade Association criticised the government for failing to recognise the vast potential held by solar energy.

Howard Johns, Chair of the STA said; “The E&Y report underlines the potential for this technology to increase competition in the UK electricity market and to deliver subsidy-free power to millions of users shortly after this Parliament. Instead the Coalition Government has put the UK industry at a serious international competitive disadvantage and made solar more costly than it needs to be in the UK- without first having even quantified the benefits.”

The E&Y analysis is based on the UK moving quickly to a stable and mature solar industry.