Since April 1 this year UK solar deployment figures have slowed down to a worrying pace. Today, keen to breathe some much-needed life back into the industry, the Solar Trade Association (STA) has written to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) asking to delay the proposed July feed-in tariff cuts.
This news comes just weeks after high-level executives from over 400 solar companies wrote to Prime Minister, David Cameron urging him to halt the planned cut to solar subsidies.
Recent installation figures show that total capacity for the past four weeks was 17MW, against a four-weekly average of 71MW over the past 12 months. This drop can be attributed to a number of factors, including the introduction of energy efficiency criteria, consumer confidence and the fact that the UK has slipped back into recession.
As a result of this considerable crash, the STA has written to DECC asking for a delay to the proposed July tariff cuts, and intends to meet with Energy Minister Greg Barker next week.
Commenting on the news STA Chairman, Alan Aldridge, said: “The STA has been seeking to counter the public confusion around solar in a bid to reignite the market (the feed-in tariff offers a ROI today which is as good as when it was first launched), but this effort will take some time to translate into sales. There is no doubt that solar is in better shape now than last autumn, but we need the Government to allow the market to adjust to changing circumstances before introducing the next round of tariff cuts.
“We are facing an unusual set of challenges right now and it is fundamentally a problem of confidence and perception. We need all champions of solar – in Government, industry and elsewhere – to help us get the message out that solar is still a great investment, particularly with energy bills on the rise again. But we also need Government to show real sensitivity to the current situation and work with us to create a stable and growing market,” Aldridge continued.
Earlier this week the STA joined the REA, BPVA and Micropower Council in a bid to promote the continued viability of solar in the UK. All four associations have previously demonstrated their frustration with the negative messages and policy alterations which have attributed to market stagnation.
Ray Noble, PV Specialist at the STA will be speaking at Doing Solar Business in the UK in Munich on the eve on Intersolar Europe. Presenting on the topic, ‘Understanding the new feed-in tariff policy: degression and subsidy values’ Noble will outline the expected future for those working in the UK solar market. Tickets for the event can be booked here.