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DECC proposes changes to UK solar policy


Concerns have been raised by renewable electricity supplier Good Energy over the proposed changes to solar policy, unveiled today by DECC.

Juliet Davenport OBE, founder and Chief Executive of Good Energy, said, ‘We will be meeting the Secretary of State today to set out our concerns about any reduction in support for larger scale solar projects. We believe the government should be providing solid, stable support for such developments and not disadvantaging this growing sector.

‘Today’s announcement from DECC for proposals to close the renewables obligation to all new 5MW developments from April next year is therefore very disappointing.

‘This will undermine growth, investment and jobs in a sector which is helping to introduce more competition and new players into the energy market.

‘This decision will bring further instability and uncertainty to investors, and we will have to reconsider our portfolio of investments as a result.

‘Solar offers the opportunity for diversifying investment away from the traditional Big Six, bringing with it the potential for job creation and further investment.

‘Solar developments help the growth of small-scale new generators as well as communities who want to generate their own clean energy, have viable alternatives to the Big Six and reduce their energy bills – paving the way for the ‘big 60,000’!

‘The solar sector needs a stable policy framework from which to grow – we believe if properly supported now, it could compete equally on cost with other technologies by the end of this decade. What it does not need is revised levels of support and political uncertainty, which will serve only to stifle investment, growth, competition and ultimately, the opportunity to make a meaningful low-cost, low-carbon contribution to the UK’s longer-term energy security.’

Although relatively new, solar has attracted investment of more than £2bn to date, with a further £2bn in the pipeline. The solar sector already provides full time employment for more than 13,700 people.

Rooftop and ground-mounted solar delivers power when it’s needed, offers high forecasting accuracy and represents a perfect complement to wind power.

DECC’s own research says 80% of UK adults believe renewables represent a sensible way forward, and solar power is already contributing around 2.5GWh to the UK’s energy mix. A recent survey by the Solar Trade Association showed 85% of people supported solar power.

Larger-scale solar developments are the perfect partner for agriculture, providing landowners with an additional income stream and protecting biodiversity corridors that support flora and fauna.

Good Energy won joint first place in this year’s Which? Customer Satisfaction Survey for energy suppliers and has come first in four of the last five years. For information on how to switch, visit the Good Energy website.

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