At a stage when key decisions on the Renewables Obligation (RO) are expected imminently, the association has raised concerns surrounding non-domestic solar policy framework.

STA chief executive Paul Barwell said: “Solar power can deploy quickly and help the UK address its looming energy crunch and the lack of sector competition.

“It is an easy and cost-effective win because it is now cheaper than many other low carbon options. Suppressing solar power wouldn’t make any sense from a value-for-money perspective.

“Solar power is set to offer businesses and households cheaper power than grid electricity before the end of this decade so there are excellent strategic reasons for Government to champion the UK industry. We very much hope that the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will deliver a framework that supports all sub-sectors of solar power.”

It is essential vital action is taken to enable the important mid-size roof-mounted sub-sector to take off claims the STA, who is concerned that nothing has been built in the largest FIT band (250kW-5MW) since the FIT was reduced to 7.1p in July. It claims the Government had just begun to support mid-size solar but it is unclear how this sub-sector will be enabled going forward.

Last month, backed by industry members, the STA responded to the Renewable Obligation Banding Review, admitting the dramatic cost reductions in solar power justified a decrease in the RO for utility solar. However it said the decrease should only go a level of 1.8 ROCs for April 2013.

The STA believes there are many reasons why solar PV should be vigorously supported such as DECC’s own analysis revealing that 83% of the public support solar and 55% would be happy to have a large scale renewable development in their area.

It also claims that mainstream analysis shows future solar costs are likely to be lower in real terms compared to fossil fuel prices.

Conor McGlone

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