Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker spoke today at the Solar Energy UK conference to say that "sensitively-sited solar PV energy will be central to the growth of renewables in Britain".

Within his speech, Minister Baker set out how the government will achieve their ambition to see 20GW deployed by 2020 and introduced the new 'Solar PV Strategy Roadmap'.

Minister Barker said "Under the policies this government has put in place, we have seen an unprecedented growth in solar electricity over recent years – with installed capacity increasing from 94 MW at the end of 2010 to a staggering 2,413 MW at the end of June 2013. Solar PV has now taken its rightful place as a mainstream renewable energy technology and at the centre of the Government's policies to achieve our 2020 renewable energy targets."

"But there is more to do. As the sector enters a period of relative stability, now is the right time for Government to consider what more we need to do, working with the industry, to ensure the solar PV sector can achieve a bright, sustainable future."

The new solar PV roadmap announced today sets out four main principles, forming the basis of the Government's strategy for solar PV.

  • Support for solar PV should allow cost-effective projects to proceed and to make a cost-effective contribution to UK carbon emission objectives in the context of overall energy goals – ensuring that solar PV has a role alongside other energy generation technologies in delivering carbon reductions, energy security and affordability for consumers.
  • Support for solar PV should deliver genuine carbon reductions that help meet the UK’s target of 15 per cent renewable energy from final consumption by 2020 and in supporting the decarbonisation of our economy in the longer term – ensuring that all the carbon impacts of solar PV deployment are fully understood.
  • Support for solar PV should ensure proposals are appropriately sited, give proper weight to environmental considerations such as landscape and visual impact, heritage and local amenity, and provide opportunities for local communities to influence decisions that affect them.
  • Support for solar PV should assess and respond to the impacts of deployment on: grid systems balancing; grid connectivity; and financial incentives – ensuring that we address the challenges of deploying high volumes of solar PV.

The official publication of the Government's Solar PV Strategy will be released in Spring 2014.

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