The Solar Trade Association (STA) says that it “seems clear” that the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will publish proposals to change solar’s support under the Renewable Obligation (RO) scheme on Tuesday.
The prediction was published in a note to members which warned that the association is concerned that the upcoming proposals will cut support for large ground-mount solar under the assumption that the commercial rooftop sector will pick up the lost capacity.
It is a worry that a lot of the industry share with Nick Boyle, Lightsource Renewable Energy’s managing director, recently stating that “it is insane to assume that we can move from 1GW in a quarter for ground-mount to the same on roofs”.
In the STA’s Solar Stability Concerns briefing note, the association notes that: “The RO is the only mechanism in which the non-domestic solar industry can currently develop a significant solar market. Therefore if the RO is overly destabilised in haste without addressing the wider policy framework, the UK non-domestic solar industry is potentially in a perilous situation again.”
The note warns that “industry is sensitive to surprise political interference”, especially considering previous interventions. “This will be the third major RO review for this technology in less than three years. No other technology has been subjected this level of political uncertainty under the coalition”, continues the briefing.
As a result, the STA is pushing for government to urgently address the policy framework for Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs) and Contracts for Difference (CfDs) in order to better support the development of larger roofs. The association has said that it will be circulating a public sign-on letter to correct the FiT scheme for larger roofs “shortly”.
The STA is calling on all members to contact their local MPs to inform them about the potential impact of any changes to RO support for solar. The association has also used Twitter to help highlight the high level of public support for solar to MPs, which has been backed by a number of organisations including, Friends of the Earth, WWF, 10:10, Greenpeace and TUC.
— STA (@thesolartrade) May 9, 2014