Solar Energy UK has welcomed the official launch of the Commons inquiry into solar technologies. Photo: Getty.
Solar Energy UK has welcomed the official launch of the Commons inquiry into solar technologies.
The Environmental Scrutiny Committee has announced that it will investigate the role that solar technologies and energy storage can play in the UK’s transition to net zero. These technologies have received numerous supports from the government to drive innovation in the sector.
In addition, the Committee will consider supply chain issues and grid connectivity as well as regulatory, technical, development planning and other barriers to scaling up both small and large-scale facilities.
Chris Hewett, chief executive of Solar Energy UK, said: “The launch of an inquiry into solar energy by the Environment Agency is timely given the rapid growth of the sector this year, a direct result of the energy price crisis.”
“However, this is still being held back, particularly due to both the lack of existing connections to the grid and trained installers, potential solutions that we will be discussing with MPs.”
The survey is also expected to cover whether the sector has enough capacity to meet the rapidly growing demand for residential and commercial solar panels. This could be an important development, especially for solar technologies.
A recent study by the United Kingdom Warehouse Association (UKWA) found that there is a total of 18,500 acres of unused roofs on warehouses that are not currently being used for solar energy. This means the UK is missing out on 15 GW of solar power.
If the survey demonstrates the potential for solar technologies in the commercial sector, further support may be provided through government legislation to integrate solar energy into various buildings. This is something that has been investigated by the Scottish government in recent weeks.
Solar Energy UK also welcomed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s stance on renewable energy. Criticizing solar power and its “impact” on farmland during the leadership contest with Liz Truss, he backed the scale of renewable technologies in his announced presence for COP27. This could see additional government support for solar energy.
“The Prime Minister’s decision to attend COP27 and highlight the economic, energy security and carbon benefits of renewables is to be welcomed,” Hewett said.
“It also shows that the new government has abandoned former Environment Secretary Ranil Jayawardena’s plans to sabotage the expansion of cheap energy from solar farms, which would have been a disastrous policy. However, we need more clarity from the top of the government to address investors’ concerns.”