Conergy questions sincerity of government’s consultation

Solar developer Conergy has questioned the sincerity of the government’s recently announced consultation on support for solar energy.

The government announced plans to remove renewable obligation (RO) support for ground-mount solar schemes by April 2016, including those under 5MW in size. It also revealed proposals to stop the pre-accreditation of PV projects under the feed-in tariff.

“Along with the rest of the solar industry I spent the last 24 hours reading, listening and watching the announcement of this so called consultation,” said Cindy Pooler, marketing manager, Conergy.

“So called, because the language used leaves me in little doubt that – as is the case with previous consultations – decisions have already been made with regards a renewable solution that, by the government’s own admission, has been a success story to date.

“With the current RO system due to end in March 2017 the industry has already demonstrated a remarkable ability to roll with the punches, working hard to deliver the right sized and right sited solar farms in line with this deadline,” said Pooler. “And yet here we are, now faced with this latest announcement that will cut this deadline short and which simply serves to further disrupt investor confidence and detract from this original aim,” she added.

Pooler cited DECC’s own surveys, which have found 80% support for solar among the public, as well as the impact solar has in cutting CO2 and for less than £3 a year on each electricity bill.

“We would now urge the government to take all of these factors into consideration when considering the next stage of the consultation with regards the removal of renewal obligation support, with a view to agreeing on a compromise with the industry,” urged Pooler.