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Political uncertainty – Does this give solar a new hope?

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With the shockwaves from the recent election still being felt in every corner of the country, a solar revival may be on the cards according to the Solar Trade Association (STA).

All the confusion surrounding the government, a potential deal with the DUP and a manifesto that looks like it will mostly be shredded, could renewable energy make a come-back sooner than expected?

On the other hand a fairly bleak future has been predicted for solar power in the UK – See Solar Power Europe’s new market analysis which gives the UK market the poorest prospects of political support in Europe to 2020.

With the events of the last month, this report may already be out of date!

STA’s reasons to be hopeful

  • The Conservatives failed to clinch a majority based on a manifesto that was weak on renewables and controversial on energy market interventions.
  • The power of the anti-renewables media, which has held so much sway over ministers, but failed to move the electorate, has been weakened.
  • The emergence of the youth vote, which is strongly pro-renewable, should make policy-makers everywhere sit up and listen.
  • STA still has support from MP’s in ALL political parties
  • The Rt Hon Dr Greg Clark continues to head up BEIS as Secretary of State – he is among the best Conservative appointments the STA could hope for on clean energy

STA’s worries

  • The weak position of the Government makes forward planning for business – already tough because of Brexit – even harder.
  • It is very likely that there will be another election before the year is over. Again, this affects forward planning.
  • The Tory negotiations with the DUP are proving extremely controversial, this is a worry for the more liberal Tories. This concern may helpfully increase the appetite for visible, detoxifying measures, however, the Confidence and Supply arrangement means the DUP will support the Government on essential votes of confidence.
  • DUP will not regard renewables as a priority, with support likely to remain a sensitive issue following the RHI “scandal” currently under investigation.


Do you think solar will play a part in your business over the next 3 years?

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