The fact that the UK solar industry self-deprecatingly refers to working in the sector as ‘riding the solarcoaster’ tells you almost all you need to know about the changing nature of government support for the technology.
Written off and reportedly laughed at in the halls of Whitehall pre-2010, solar PV has consistently outperformed even the most optimistic of predictions which, in policy terms, has always translated to detrimental treatment.
Last week’s proposed closure of the RO and explosive removal of grandfathering combined with a change in pre-accreditation for the feed-in tariff has formed the latest downward dive on the solarcoaster. Predictably the move was met with universal disapproval from the green sector.
Now that the dust has settled there seems to be two distinct camps: those who believe that the Tory “big reset” of green subsidies will kill UK solar; and those who believe that warning about the death of UK solar could turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
At Solar Power Portal we want to form a third camp.
We believe that UK solar has a bright future and we want to work hard to help the industry realise it.
That’s why we’re launching the Building a British Solar Future campaign today.
The campaign will focus on identifying new opportunities what realistic changes the industry can lobby for during the immediate consultation period. Our priority will be researching and presenting serious solutions from within the industry that could be translated into policy support by the government.
In addition, we will be exploring what innovative business models could be implemented across the UK market to make solar work with little or no subsidies. For this we will be drafting in support from our international colleagues at PV Tech, market research experts at Solar Intelligence and industry-leading commentators to find the new routes to prosperity for the sector.
Solar Power Portal’s role is not to bury its head in the sand and provide an optimistic whitewash to the latest proposals. Solar Power Portal’s role is to support the industry; we believe that the best way we can achieve that is by giving the pragmatic voice of the industry a platform to engage with its peers.