Smooth transition key to achieve subsidy-free solar

Amid constant speculation around further green cuts, a major new report predicts that solar PV can be the UK’s first ‘subsidy free’ renewable. Here, Jerry Hamilton pledges his full support for this theory while stating that a long-term framework for green growth is still crucial.

According to a new report launched by the Renewable Energy Association (REA) and Big Four auditors KPMG, solar PV could be the first renewable technology to achieve ‘grid parity’ whereby it will produce electricity for the same cost to ratepayers as that on the general grid. As such, this would negate the need for government stimuli, placing solar PV as a viable alternative all on its own.

This is, of course, fantastic news for industry and green growth. After all, with so much speculation of late over the forthcoming Feed-in Tariff review and further spending cuts for green energy subsidies, it is incredibly reassuring to have validation that solar PV will be the UK’s first ‘subsidy free’ renewable.

Clearly, this is the result of an unprecedented level of development within the market. Over recent years we have seen an astonishing price reduction in solar power, with the report stating impressive cost reductions of nearly 70% in the last five years, in addition to rapidly rising deployment.

In fact, according to the study the UK has become the most dynamic PV market in Europe, becoming the most popular renewable energy among British consumers, both in the domestic and commercial sectors.

That said, however, it is important to remember that we cannot afford to rest on our laurels and as the report warns the move from subsidised technology to a mainstream technology requires a ‘smooth transition’ over the coming years via a gradual phase out of subsidies. This is claimed as crucial in order to ensure momentum isn’t lost through loss of jobs and resources and rather that continued innovation takes place.

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