REA champions solar and storage with two new trade bodies
The Renewable Energy Assocation (REA) has launched two new industry bodies - UK Solar and UK Energy Storage - to support the growth and integration of both sectors across the country.
UK Solar will represent more than 130 of the REA's existing solar companies and has been launched by the REA in a bid to become "the trusted voice of solar power in the UK". The new industry body will sit independently to the Solar Trade Association, which announced its split from the REA last October.
In a statement, the REA said its 15-year relationship with Government and key industry stakeholder would benefit the new UK Solar organisation.
REA chief executive Dr Nina Skorupska said: "Solar power is one of the first major renewable energy technologies set to compete with traditional energy sources without subsidy. The integration of solar as a major player in the UK energy mix will transform the power market.
"Businesses, households and the public sector will see their energy bills reduced. It is the mission of UK Solar to support and drive the transition to this solar future"
Also announced today (15 January) was the launch of the REA's first trade body for renewable energy storage – UK Energy Storage – which the REA hopes will "ensure that storage technologies have a smooth path to commercialisation in the UK through delivering and developing effective policy".
Energy storage technology, which is not yet commercially viable, can theoretically help renewable power sources to meet fluctuating energy demands; bringing system stability and decarbonising the energy supply.
REA senior advisor Ray Noble said: "The potential for energy storage to transform the UK energy mix is immense. Through representing all types and scale storage technologies the REA will drive the commercialisation of viable storage solutions in the UK.
"The integration of storage technologies will bring down costs and increase the capacity of renewable energy available on demand, which could revolutionise the energy mix."
The Renewable Energy Association and Solar Trade Association ended their formal affiliation on 1 January, 2015. The two bodies first forged a partnership in 2011 when the STA merged with the REA's Solar Power Group and relaunched with representation of both the solar heating and solar power industries.
Despite ending their formal affiliation, the REA has insisted "both associations remain open to collaboration on areas of mutual interest in the future".
The STA has declined to comment on the launch of UK Solar.