This October, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) published part one of their Solar PV Roadmap.

The Roadmap sets out the Government's vision of the strategic direction for solar PV in the UK. The aim of the Roadmap is to provide certainty to investors, solar developers, households, communities and businesses affected by Solar PV following the uncertainty that has shadowed the market in recent years as a result of the Feed in Tariff review and implementation of the"degression system". Solar PV currently accounts for 12 per cent of renewable electricity capacity in the UK and 2.9 per cent of renewable electricity generation.

DECC launched the Roadmap at the Solar Energy UK conference earlier this month. At the conference, Energy Minister, Greg Barker said:

"Under the policies this government has put in place, we have seen an unprecedented growth in solar electricity over recent years – with installed capacity increasing from 94 MW at the end of 2010 to a staggering 2,413 MW at the end of June 2013. Solar PV has now taken its rightful place as a mainstream renewable energy technology and at the centre of the Government's policies to achieve our 2020 renewable energy targets.

But there is more to do. As the sector enters a period of relative stability, now is the right time for Government to consider what more we need to do, working with the industry, to ensure the solar PV sector can achieve a bright, sustainable future."

The Roadmap sets out four guiding principles:-

  • Support for solar PV should allow cost-effective projects to proceed and to make a cost-effective contribution to UK carbon emission objectives in the context of overall energy goals – ensuring that solar PV has a role alongside other energy generation technologies in delivering carbon reductions, energy security and affordability for consumers.
  • Support for solar PV should deliver genuine carbon reductions that help meet the UK's renewable energy targets and ensure that all the carbon impacts of solar PV deployment are understood.
  • Support for solar PV should ensure proposals are appropriately sited, give proper weight to environmental considerations and provide opportunities for local communities to influence decisions.
  • Support for solar PV should assess and respond to the impacts of deployment on: grid systems balancing; grid connectivity; and financial incentives, ensuring that the challenges of deploying high volumes of solar PV are addressed.

A Solar PV Strategy will also be published by the Government in Spring 2014 which will assist the development of policy and the growth of the sector. Turcan Connell Group will report on the Solar PV Strategy on publication.

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