A brighter future? — solar PV roadmap

In July 2011, the government published the Renewable Energy Roadmap. The roadmap sets out how the government aims to meet its goal of generating 15 per cent of the UK’s energy from renewable sources by 2020. The government has, since the roadmap was published, issued annual updates that have indicated that good progress is being made towards achieving the 2020 target. One of the key statements in the first of those updates, which was issued in December 2012, was that solar PV is of crucial importance under the roadmap due to increased deployment and a significant decrease in costs.

As a result of the increased focus on solar PV, on 8 October 2013 the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) published a solar PV specific roadmap, the UK Solar PV Strategy Part 1: Roadmap to a Brighter Future. The solar PV roadmap sets out the strategy for the development of solar PV energy generation in the UK and provides that solar PV should help provide carbon emissions reductions, energy security and affordability for consumers and that cost-effective projects should therefore be promoted in order to support the decarbonisation of the economy, both in order to meet the UK’s 2020 target but also to reduce emissions in the longer term. The solar PV roadmap further provides that solar PV installations should be appropriately sited and that proper weight should be given to environmental considerations including visual impact, heritage and local amenity and that local communities should have the power to influence decisions that affect them.

The solar PV roadmap has been published in advance of the UK solar PV strategy, which DECC intends to issue this year. DECC is in the process of finalising that strategy and, among other things, is undertaking analysis on: the cost reduction potential of solar PV; the likely proportions of domestic, industrial and ground-mounted solar PV that there will be by 2020; and how to manage grid connections…

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