UK’s solar industry calls for government to deliver net zero Budget

The Solar Trade Association says government must unlock the potential of solar energy in the UK and ’empower the transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions’

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The UK’s solar industry has called for the government to deliver a net zero Budget.

The Solar Trade Association (STA) says the UK needs a Budget that unlocks the potential of solar energy in the UK and “empowers the transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions”.

It suggests policies should include an exemption for solar from business rates, fairer tax treatment, zero-interest loans for green home improvements and a commitment to procure 100% renewable energy for the civic estate.

The organisation notes the Committee on Climate Change estimates the UK’s solar power capacity will have to triple by 2030 in order to be on track for the government’s legally-binding target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 – however, it suggests disproportionate business rates currently present the biggest barrier to the deployment of large rooftop solar installations and calls for these rates to be reformed.

The STA also expects VAT rate changes to be reversed and is urging that battery storage be added to the Energy Saving Materials list to enable it to qualify for a reduced rate of 5% VAT.

Chief Executive Chris Hewett said: “This government has begun to take vital first steps towards delivering net zero but there is a lot of work to be done yet.

“Solar has a key role to play in decarbonising power and driving down emissions in heat and transport too. The industry stands ready to deliver. It is down to the government to unleash its true potential.”