2016 has not been a good year for the Solar industry in the UK.
The Solar Trade Association (STA) recently conducted a survey on the state of the industry and what future priorities are.
They had a great response with the report being covered by The Times, Guardian, Independent and several other major trade magazines and journals.
Key findings from the survey
- A third of solar jobs have been lost in the past year and a third of respondents expect to cut staff in the next 12 months.
- Diversification into other products and services is the most popular response to policy changes, while almost four in ten firms are considering exiting the solar market completely.
- Rewarding investment in solar through the tax system is the policy change the sector would most like to see.
- Only half of respondents still view commercial rooftop as a key submarket – and the figure is even lower for domestic solar PV.
- Africa and North America were the main overseas markets UK firms were moving into even before the Brexit vote
STA intends to use the findings from the survey to help lobby for better support and provide evidence of “silent” job losses.
They want to prove that there has been a major impact on the solar industry since the cuts from last year.
The Solar Trade Association along with 29 environmental and energy-related organisations sent a letter to Greg Clark, the new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy urging him and the UK Prime Minister Theresa May to commit to critical EU targets for the year 2020.
The letter argues that EU laws and regulations on energy and buildings have played a leading role in enabling the UK to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases and to provide global leadership on climate change.
It outlines three EU targets for the year 2020 which the signatories to the letter believe the UK government must stick to despite exiting the EU.
The three targets
- 15% of all energy used for electricity, transport and heating should come from renewable energy sources (under the Renewables Energy Directive)
- UK final energy consumption should fall to 129.2 million tonnes of oil equivalent or less (the Energy Efficiency Directive
- All new buildings must be nearly zero energy buildings by the end of 2020 (by the end of 2018 for public buildings) (The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive)
You can read the full letter here