Solar Energy UK welcomes the creation of a Solar Taskforce as part of ‘Green Day’. Image: Eric Hossinger.

The solar industry has welcomed the UK government’s plans to establish a Solar Taskforce as part of a range of measures introduced in the “Energy Security Day” package.

The Solar Taskforce was first called to be created in Chris Skidmore’s Independent Review of Net Zero report.

The government will also look to develop a solar delivery roadmap and assess low cost finance from retail lenders for homes and small business premises which could open the door for further solar installations.

The roadmap will aim to set out the pathway towards reaching 70GW of solar generation capacity by 2035, mandated in last year’s Energy Security Strategy. This is expected to be released in 2024.

“Solar Energy UK strongly welcomes the taskforce, which is a clear indication from the government that it wants the UK to take full advantage of solar energy’s vast economic potential. We look forward to working closely with ministers to lay the path towards a five-fold increase in solar capacity in the UK by 2035 and addressing the key barriers to unlock the full potential of all scales of solar and energy storage,” said Chris Hewett, chief executive of Solar Energy UK.

“In particular, the new body needs to address the need for major improvements in network capacity and management, support for skills and training so the workforce can grow in line with demand for the technologies and ensure finance and markets are available for solar to be accessible to all businesses and individuals.”

The solar sector had been described in the “Powering Up Britain” paper as having huge potential in playing a large role in the decarbonisation of the UK.

In the accompanying document to the Powering Up Britain paper, a Technical Annex showcases the forecasted growth of the UK solar sector. For solar, a net zero scenario with the appropriate accompanying policies, solar generation could reach 90GW by 2050. Under known policy, solar capacity could be around 42GW – double the amount projected under known policy by 2030.

Solar Energy UK highlighted a number of additional measures set to be introduced via the Energy Security Day package.

This includes the opening of the fifth allocation round of Contracts for Difference (CfD), backed with a £205 million budget, which is set to provide investors with further confidence in the UK solar market.

Another measure welcomed by Solar Energy UK is the investment in reinforcing electricity networks which, as the trade body said, should be “priority number one” for the solar industry.

Solar Energy UK stated: “Many larger projects, whether solar farms or mounted on warehouse rooftops, are unable to connect to the grid and waiting times for upgrades can stretch long into the 2030s. “This is a drag on the economy, cutting bills and on reaching net zero. The promise for the Electricity Networks Commissioner Nick Winser to deliver recommendations to halve delivery times for new infrastructure, due in June, is thus especially welcome.”

Solar Power Portal's publisher Solar Media will host the UK Solar Summit on 27-28 June 2023 in London. The event will explore UK’s new landscape for utility and rooftop solar, looking at the opportunities within a GW+ annual market, and much more. For more information, go to the website.