The UK government has been taking steps to promote the use of renewable energy sources, including solar power. These policies have had a significant impact on the solar power industry, shaping its growth and development in the country. In this blog post, we will explore the different government policies that have influenced the solar power industry in the UK.
The Feed-In Tariff scheme
The Feed-In Tariff (FIT) scheme was introduced in 2010 and provided financial incentives to households and businesses that installed solar panels on their properties. The scheme, which was closed to new applicants on March 2019, allowed individuals to earn money for generating their own renewable energy and selling it back to the grid. The FIT scheme led to a significant increase in solar panel installations in the UK, making it a popular choice for homeowners and businesses looking to reduce their energy bills.
The Renewable Heat Incentive
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is another government scheme that provides financial incentives for households and businesses that install renewable heating systems. Solar thermal panels are eligible for the RHI, which provides payments over a period of seven years for the heat generated by the system. This scheme has also helped to increase the uptake of solar thermal panels in the UK.
The Smart Export Guarantee
The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) is a scheme that was introduced in 2019 to replace the Feed-In Tariff scheme. The SEG requires energy suppliers to pay households and businesses for any excess solar energy that they generate and export back to the grid. This scheme has provided a new source of income for solar panel owners and has made solar power a more attractive investment for households and businesses.
The Future Homes Standard
The Future Homes Standard is a proposed update to building regulations that aims to improve the energy efficiency of new homes in the UK. The updated regulations will require new homes to be built to a higher energy efficiency standard, with a focus on reducing carbon emissions. Solar panels are expected to play a key role in meeting these standards, making them a more attractive option for new home builders.
The 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution
In November 2020, the UK government released a 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, which included a commitment to invest in renewable energy sources such as solar power. The plan set out a target of generating enough offshore wind energy to power every home in the UK by 2030, and also included funding for research and development of new solar technologies.
In conclusion, government policies have had a significant impact on the growth and development of the solar power industry in the UK. The Feed-In Tariff, Renewable Heat Incentive, Smart Export Guarantee, Future Homes Standard, and the 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution have all contributed to making solar power a more attractive and accessible option for households and businesses in the UK. With ongoing support and investment from the government, it is likely that the solar power industry will continue to grow and play an important role in the UK’s transition to a low-carbon economy.