As two solar firms went bust last week (Climate Energy and Mark Group) the industry is quite rightly up in arms about the government’s reduction in funding into the industry.
However, a new report published by Renewable Energy Association's (REA) UK solar beyond subsidy: the transition, may give hope for those within the solar industry.
Written by KPMG, the report suggests a range of policy options that can help the industry transition towards a sustainable, subsidy-free future.
Solar PV is the most popular renewable energy technology in the UK, and deployment is rising rapidly, the report finds. Solar PV deployment at the end of March 2015 reached 8.1GW, and will reach 11GW in 2016. And costs are falling fast, dropping by 70 per cent over the past five years. The trend is set to continue, with costs expected to fall a further 35 per cent by 2020.
Given these incredible cost reductions, the industry does recognise that it should be moving towards a standalone model, however the report also warns against withdrawing subsides suddenly and without a planned transitional period.
Recommendations are made for new housing to have solar panels in-built and offering greater tax relief to commercial rooftop solar installations. A range of relief measures are proposed to incentivise take up, including allowing businesses to claim solar PV income as Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) rather than as capital allowance - providing 100 per cent tax relief rather than a 20!
The report also calls for great grid integration and investment into energy storage capacities.
The REA report makes proposals for government policies to support an industry in transition to a subsidy free future, rather than pulling the plug.
As solar recruitment specialists we are still seeing recruitment demand for Engineering, Operations and Maintenance positions within the industry, as well as international opportunities as UK businesses look towards Europe for more stable environments in which to grow.
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