The UK government should commit to a target of 40GW of solar capacity by 2030, according to the Solar Trade Association (STA).
STA made the call in a letter to the Secretary of State of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma, which coincides with the publication of a new policy paper outlining how the goal can be achieved to help boost the green recovery.
The paper calls for the government to focus on priorities that will boost the ground-mounted, commercial rooftop and residential markets.
These include maximising routes to market and improving investor confidence by implementing a robust Contracts for Difference design that has sufficient budget for Pot 1 (solar and onshore wind), regular six-monthly auctions and no capacity caps.
Government should also implement green tax reform to ensure continued sustainable growth by exempting rooftop solar and battery storage from business rates.
The paper also calls for the implementation of high, ambitious new build minimum energy efficiency standards keeping to the timelines set out in the Future Homes Standard consultation, and access to green finance for domestic and commercial entities to install solar and storage through grants, zero interest loans or other fiscal incentives.
The paper outlines a further seven policies that the government should implement in the medium-term to further unlock the potential of UK solar, including powering the Civic Estate with 100% renewables, scrapping VAT for solar and battery storage, and strengthening the UK’s commitment to carbon pricing.
STA chief executive Chris Hewett said: “Now is the time for the government to commit to action.
“A 40GW target aligns with the recommendations of Britain’s top climate advisors, and the industry is ready to scale up operations to deliver this, with the support of a robust policy framework.
“Unleashing the potential of solar in the UK would rapidly create thousands of skilled jobs across the country. Our industry can help to spread the green recovery from Land’s End to John O’Groats.”
The policy paper can be found here.