Businesses Push for UK Solar in Letter to Prime Minister David Cameron
British Prime Minister David Cameron is being urged to support the UK’s thriving solar industry in a letter signed by more than 150 businesses.
While the majority of support comes from smaller PV businesses, larger companies such as Ikea, Good Energy, Kyocera, and Ecotrcity are offering their support as well.
The timing of the letter is important, as the Department of Energy and Climate Change closed proposal consultations on Renewables Obligation support for solar farms producing more than 5MW. The move was called a “kick in the teeth” to the UK solar industry. The main purpose of the move is to refocus efforts and investments toward rooftop solar, rather than larger scale farms.
The government believes this move will keep solar grown in the UK in line with the budget and act as a preventative measure for potential challenges in the future. However, as the letter signed by the businesses argues, the move will not only fail in its hope of furthering implementation of rooftop solar, but also curb growth within the industry as a whole.
Paul Barwell, chief executive of the Solar Trade Association, has been a vocal opponent of the government’s shift in solar policy.
“Solar is a home-grown solution to Britain’s energy crisis. If the government provides a stable policy environment solar will soon be subsidy free,” Barwell said. “But the government is now proposing to tilt the playing field against large-scale solar, while not taking sufficient action to unlock commercial rooftop solar – that is unacceptable.”
Barwell urged the government to re-think its decision.
“So serious are the implications of these consultations for the British solar industry that we are asking the Prime Minister to intervene,” he said, explaining the urgency of the letter. “We only need one more push, one more period of policy stability to be able to compete with fossil fuels without support. That is the global race the PM needs to win for the UK economy and the climate.”
The letter itself expresses an optimistic outlook for UK solar—so long as the policies are rethought—reading, “The potential for further employment, innovation and growth across the industry is exceptional, as international experience shows.”
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.