The Solar Trade Assocation (STC) have got together with PwC to launch an online survey aimed at assessing the status of the UK solar industry following major changes to the policy framework
The confidential online survey is open to all solar companies in the UK and will run for the next two weeks. The results of the survey will be presented to Ministers and published in the form of a public report in early summer.
“Solar has had the great majority of its support removed very rapidly in the UK, and just when it had parity with fossil fuels within sight” said STA Head of External Affairs Leonie Greene. “At the STA we know many solar companies are having a difficult time and indeed some have been lost, and with them some highly skilled people. However, it is important that we systematically quantify what the impact of these policy changes has been in order to provide a really clear & accurate picture. A comprehensive survey is essential for an informed discussion with Government and Parliament and there will be strong interest in how the industry is faring. Partnering up with PwC means we can ensure the high quality analysis this important industry deserves.”
John Dashwood, Head of Renewables, Assurance at PwC, added that the solar industry is exceptionally innovative and adaptable but that it is undoubtedly facing some serious challenges in the UK. It is therefore an important time to assess current challenges and uncertainty and their effect on solar businesses in the UK.
The Renewables Obligation has ended early for the solar industry, and no future auction rounds under Contracts-for-Difference are anticipated. Furthermore, deployment of domestic solar has dropped by 80 percent under the Feed-in Tariff compared to deployment last year. Commercial solar roofs deployed under FiTs has been capped at 15 MW per quarter and there is uncertainty about the extent to which Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) will sustain investment in the short-term.
The government has also dropped Zero Carbon Homes but moves by the Scottish Government to improve new building standards have created opportunities and the new London Mayor may also move to support solar deployment across the capital.