New REA/KPMG report – Solar aims to be first renewable to be free of subsidy – 23rd July

    • Ground mounted solar set to reach “grid parity” by 2020
    • Rooftop solar is following closely behind but needs stable policy to achieve the cost reductions necessary
    • Provides roadmap to achieve a post-subsidy industry
    • UK needs to avoid a cliff edge to ensure a smooth transition and help the UK achieve the most cost efficient renewables strategy

The most authoritative report to date on the future of solar is launched today by the UK’s largest renewable trade body the REA and leading advisory firm KPMG. This report is especially timely following the announcement of the consultation on the closure of the RO for solar as well as a forthcoming consultation on Feed-in Tariff. We expect it to play a significant role in helping shape both of these policies.

The report details solar’s impressive cost reduction in the past decade and models different scenarios to grid parity in the next 5 years, enabling the industry to continue to develop as direct subsidies are gradually phased out. It also highlights the importance of maintaining support so that the majority of the industry, which includes many small and medium enterprises, will be able to reach grid-parity.

With government budgets under huge pressure, it is imperative that bill payers’ money and government support is used effectively in the short term, whilst ensuring a low-cost, low carbon future is achievable. Solar is going to be a key technology in achieving this, and will be able to compete with traditional fossil fuel generation by the end of the decade if the government provide clear and stable policy leadership.

The report assesses how solar could make the transition, utilising alternative non-subsidy measures to avoid the market stalling, which would negatively impact companies and employment in the industry.

Chief Executive, Dr Nina Skorupska (REA) said:

“We need to get to the low carbon economy in the most cost effective way, but to do that government and industry have to work together.

Clear and stable policy leadership is vital, and as robust as solar is, it can still be held back just short of the finishing line by misguided government interventions.

This report shows how close solar is to competing with traditional power generation, and with positive government decisions we can ensure the smooth transition from subsidy to business as usual”

Key report recommendations:

  • A national energy strategy is needed, incorporating energy storage alongside solar and giving a coherent overview of the grid.
  • There is an opportunity to review the FiT and ensure tariffs are set at a level that allows acceptable returns and degressions are clearly set out.
  • There needs to be a review of alternative ways to support the solar industry, including for example; the tax regime and net-metering to allow a smooth transition away from subsidies.

    –ENDS–

For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Lauren Cook
+44 (0)20 7925 3583
lcook@r-e-a.net

Notes to editors

It’s not too late to attend the launch tomorrow at the offices of DWF LLP, it is being held from 9am at 20 Fenchurch street. Please email Lindsay Barnett lbarnett@r-e-a.net by 5pm today so we can make sure your name is on the list.

About the Renewable Energy Association (REA)

The Renewable Energy Association represents renewable energy producers and promotes the use of all forms of renewable energy in the UK across power, heat, transport and renewable gas. It is the largest renewable energy trade association in the UK, with approximately 750 members, ranging from major multinationals to sole traders. For more information, visit: www.r-e-a.net.