A new report released by the Solar Trade Association has revealed that the UKs solar industry is performing better than expected and is showing signs of overtaking fossil fuels.

Large-scale solar costs were examined in a workshop earlier this month by energy analysts and BEIS. Anticipated costs in 2014 were around £80MWh for 2019. New analysis has revealed that these expectations have been reduced – with LOCE (Levelised Cost of Electricity) now at an expected £50-£60MWh, which would make the UKs solar energy the cheapest technology.

The STA standpoint is now focussed on making the government, who closed down solar initiatives and excluded solar from clean energy auctions, realise the potential benefits of solar and its competitive position in the UKs energy marketplace. Experts insist that the analysis underlines the UKs potential for large-scale solar and the potential economic benefits.

The Chief Executive of the STA, Chris Hewett said, ‘We have a clear message for Government and corporate energy buyers today. UK Solar electricity is now cost-competitive with fossil fuels. By establishing the right policy framework for solar energy and storage, including expediting a smart, flexible energy system, government can enable this technology to realise its full potential in delivering an affordable, low-carbon future energy system.’

The STA has also released policy measures to encourage growth of the solar energy market and have three main aims-

  • Introducing a technology-neutral price Contract for Difference auction
  • Enacting network access and charging reforms to enable storage
  • Providing a Climate Change Levy exemption for zero-carbon generation (through PPAs).

The Solar Trade Association (STA) has reiterated, through its report, that the UK has an increasing need for clean generation capacity and believes that this can truly support the drive to re-start previously halted projects across the country, in addition to improved efficiencies within the solar industry.