The UK’s Solar Trade Association (STA) has hailed “a significant breakthrough” for its #Fair4Solar campaign, referring to comments made during the BEIS Select Committee Oral Questions, in which Energy Minister Claire Perry stated that “solar power should not be provided to the grid for free”, representing a shift in government stance on the issue of fair payments for surplus electricity sold to the grid.
Responding to a question from Kevin Hollinrake MP, she said “I do completely agree that solar power should not be provided to the grid for free and that’s why I’ll shortly be announcing the next steps for small scale renewables.”
She also added in answer to a question from Richard Graham MP: “It would be wrong to have power provided to the grid for free,” and in reply to a question from Alan Whitehead MP, said “People who have gone through the installation process should not be essentially captive takers should someone want to buy their energy and I’m looking forward to announcing some further deliberations on this shortly.”
STA Chief Executive, Chris Hewett said “We are delighted that Clare Perry has now stated clearly that future small solar generators should receive payment for their exported electricity. STA had sent her a letter signed by over 350 organisations from across the solar, battery, electricity supplier industries and civil society seeking just such an assurance. As ever the devil is in the detail, so we now need to see the proposals and make sure they are in place from April 2019, but this is a good day for solar installers and prospective rooftop solar owners.”
The STA has spearheaded a campaign to bring the issue to the attention of the Minister since the proposal to end the export tariff was revealed. The #Fair4Solar campaign is supported by a coalition of stakeholder organisations including the NFU, Church of England, WWF-UK, 10:10 Climate Action, Community Energy England, the UKYCC and the ECA.