A senior member of one of Britain’s leading solar developers has said he hopes the challenges of adjusting to the contracts for difference (CfD) system will leave the UK industry in better shape.

Speaking at the Ecobuild show in London yesterday, Giles Frampton, business development director at British Solar Renewables, said the transition to the CfD mechanism could help bring an end to some of the bad industry practices that have developed under the current renewable obligation regime.

Frampton said the rush of grid connection applications to distribution network operators (DNOs) under the RO was “choking the system”. He cited one developer he had heard of who had submitted 166 speculative grid applications to one DNO.

“I know we love to hate [the DNOs]. But please, don't hate them – they are constrained by government, they are a regulated industry, and we need to work with them and we as solar developers need to behave better going forward. I think that the CfD changes may help us all do that by shaking the tree a little bit and seeing what falls out. That's what I'm hoping for,” Frampton said.

Frampton said he was confident that solar would eventually win through under the CfD system, despite its poor showing in the first round of auctions, which saw only 72MW across five projects succeed.

“We are now the most rapidly deployable renewable energy form without question. The madness of the £50 CfD will be forgotten,” Frampton said in reference to the unviably low strike price bid by two of the projects in the first-round auction.

Frampton said BSR, which is among the UK’s top five developers in terms of capacity, had opted not to bid in the first round of the CfD programme.

“We didn't bid in this round because we thought we'd keep our heads down, see what came out and then step out of the trench for the next round, which is what we're intending to do.”

But he said BSR had “always carried on, whatever the government has thrown at us”: “I was in the fire brigade, [BSR CEO] Angus [Macdonald] used to be in the armed forces, we're all used to being in burning buildings when others are leaving. And that's a mentality we've tried to bring to solar development, becase it's still the Wild West out there.

“It's a maturing industry, but with government throwing their hat in for political purposes…we have to educate the public, we have to educate government, we have to educate ourselves to behave in a sensible, reasonable way.”