Solarcentury quits PV association over FITs cut 'support'

Solarcentury has quit the British Photovoltaic Association after accusing it and its chairman of backing the Government over cuts to solar subsidies.

The trade body representing the UK's solar PV trade was praised by energy secretary, Chris Huhne, in a House of Commons debate this morning (January 25).

This has outraged Solarcentury, the London-based solar panel design and installation firm, which only joined the BPVA in May last year when it had only been in existence for 8 months.

Solarcentury chief executive, Derry Newman, said the stance taken by the BPVA, led by chairman Reza Shaybani, before yesterday's Court of Appeal hearing meant it had fallen for the Government's 'divide and conquer' technique.

Mr Newman said: "We cannot understand how a trade body claiming to represent the best interests of the UK PV industry could have arrived at such a position.

"Nor why the BPVA is supporting the right of DECC to make retrospective changes to the feed-in tariff at any time, thus jeopardising all future investor interest in PV and other FIT technologies.

"Of all trade bodies in this sector, the BPVA alone has allowed itself to be used in a classic Government divide and rule manoeuvre.

"By contrast, other trade bodies including the Solar Trade Association and Renewable Energy Association have recognised what is at stake in this case and in particular, the disastrous long-term implications of DECC getting their way."

The news also sees Solarcentury's head of public affairs, Seb Berry, quit the board of the BPVA that he joined only in May last year.

When edie energy contacted the BPVA its spokeswoman said she was 'not aware' of solarcentury's decision, but couldn't comment further.

Speaking last year BPVA chairman Reza Shaybani, speaking last year, said Solarcentury joining was 'particularly significant.'

At the time, he said: "Solarcentury's membership is particularly significant as the company is widely respected throughout the industry for providing lobbying leadership over many years and for being instrumental in persuading the previous Government to deliver an effective feed-in tariff policy for PV."

Luke Walsh


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