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Feed-in tariff review: Killing UK >50 kW solar PV industry

The UK Solar Trade Association (STA) says the revised feed-in tariff for solar photovoltaic (PV) projects over 50 kW is killing the UK solar PV industry.

By Renewable Energy Focus staff

STA says investments in major UK manufacturing opportunities, like Kingspan, which insulates and generates solar roofing, are now in jeopardy as investors will shy away from the UK. The association also warns that the reduced solar PV tariffs will “severely limit” solar PV installation plans for leisure centres, supermarkets and schools.

“Solar is now in a mess.”
- Howard Johns, STA

STA Chairman, Howard Johns, says: “The Coalition Government has got it seriously wrong on solar and given recent statements in the press DECC Ministers are waking up to this. But Treasury have crippled DECC’s ability to respond to major developments in solar and DECC itself hasn’t got to grips with this technology.

“Ironically crushing solar makes zero economic sense for UK plcs because it will lose us major manufacturing opportunities, jobs and global competitiveness. It also risks locking us in to more expensive energy options in future. It is inexplicable that the Treasury can be allowed to damage energy and industrial plans by taking decisions without taking into account the bigger picture. The Prime Minster urgently needs to intervene to prevent this calamity,” he urges.

The association says the UK is “derailing solar” at the same time as other major economies like China, Japan and Germany are promoting solar.

Johns adds: “The FiT scheme has been hugely successful and it should be increased, not rolled-back. […] solar is now in a mess. Many investors and project developers are walking away badly burned, and current Renewable Obligation support for solar is too low to prevent collapse.”

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets