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STA welcomes publication of Draft EMR Delivery Plan

Route-to-market focus welcome but FITs/CfD relationship needs resolving or sub-5MW solar market faces exceptionally bleak outlook when RO closes.

Commenting on the publication of the Government’s Draft Delivery Plan for Electricity Market Reform (EMR), STA Head of External Affairs Leonie Greene said:

“The EMR Delivery Plan focuses on contracts for difference (CfDs) for large-scale solar schemes over 5MW. EMR stipulates that projects below 5MW will not be eligible for CfDs and will have to use the existing fixed Feed-in Tariffs (FITs), which are set around a nominally much smaller budget. As anyone in non-domestic solar knows, solar projects over 50kW are very severely constrained under the FITs even when schemes are cheaper than other renewables.

“Solar is highly effective and cost competitive as a decentralised power source at relatively small scale. Cutting off the sub 5MW market therefore makes solar unique in having a bleak outlook under EMR when the Renewables Obligation (RO) closes. That’s not acceptable and we can’t believe it’s what politicians want given the recent focus on mid-scale and roof-mounted solar. In fact the result of the policy framework as currently set out would be to drive a focus on schemes larger than 5MW.

“We will be consulting with members on the mooted strike price for solar but, as DECC knows, it will not be possible to get a firm handle on solar pricing until the EU-China trade dispute is resolved. We have concerns about the CfD contracts being shorter than project life at just 15 years, when solar PV is an exceptionally long-lasting technology.

“However, we are pleased to see a clear focus in the Delivery Plan on Route-to-Market for independent generators. A clear route-to market is essential if independent generators are to have confidence they can secure the market reference price needed to get projects to stack up economically. Independent generators are expected to deliver up to 50% of all the investment we need so this issue is absolutely critical and not an add-on. We look forward to hearing from DECC with further details on how they propose to resolve this.”


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