Action also needed to ensure route-to-market for independent renewable generators.
The Solar Trade Association, the UK’s leading solar association with over 350 members, warmly welcomed the news today that a cross-party group of MPs is tabling an amendment to the Energy Bill requiring a 2030 CO2 target to be decided in 2014 . The target will reflect the advice of the Committee on Climate Change, which recommended a 50g/kWh target.
The MPs’ move comes after deliberations in the Energy Bill Committee following Government’s own weak alternative amendment, which would have deferred any clear CO2 target to 2016. The MPs have decided this is insufficient, a move strongly backed by the UK’s growing solar industry.
STA Head of External Affairs Leonie Greene said:
“The Solar Trade Association is fully behind this target. The case for it is clear. We have to avoid locking in to outdated energy infrastructure because the world is currently on track for a devastating temperature rise of four degrees. This target will provide the clear steer investors need, and help mitigate the confusion arising from the Gas Strategy and the loss of the Renewables Obligation.
“However, the renewables industry also needs a clear post 2020 framework if it is to scale up vigorously this decade. Again, this target helps to provide that confidence.”
The STA is also awaiting Government’s response to the Green Power Auction Market amendment tabled by Alan Whitehead. Energy Minister John Hayes said that he would look at this closely. The Green Power Auction Market amendment is vital because without it independent developers of solar power projects will struggle to sell their electricity into the UK electricity market.
This route-to-market issue is recognised by the MPs on the Energy and Climate Change Committee who tabled today’s amendment. Independent generators are expected to provide a third to a half of all the investment required in the power sector to 2020, yet the Energy Bill currently fails to provide a clear way for independent generators to sell their power.
Leonie Greene said:
“Full credit to the MPs from both parties who have come together in the national interest to help drive the transformation we need in our electricity sector, at the pace we need. We hope MPs are also watching the critical route-to-market issue very closely, as we may yet need their help.”
The Solar Trade Association (STA) represents companies working in solar thermal and solar power in the UK. Since 2011 the STA has been affiliated to the Renewable Energy Association. Established in 1978 as a not-for-profit trade association we represent a diverse membership across the solar power and solar heating industry. The STA works in conjunction with its members to achieve the right regulatory framework and incentives for solar to deliver an increasing contribution to the UK’s electricity and heating needs. We undertake policy development and provide expert advice and analysis to government departments, agencies, regulators, NGOs and other stakeholders. For more information, see: www.solar-trade.org.uk
House of Commons: ‘Notices of Amendments given on Thursday 7 February 2013 – Consideration of Bill; Energy Bill, as amended’. Available at: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2012-2013/0100/amend/pbc1000702a.pdf