The government definitely thinks so. How about industry experts? Again, many believe it is.
Abid Kazim, the MD of NextEnergy Solar Fund, is passionate that solar can indeed be subsidy free, if, as he pointed out in the opening session of yesterday’s Solar Finance and Investment Europe event, the government “get out the way”.
Kazim starts off with saying how the solar industry has changed and that it had “entered a period of enlightenment”. Down playing the cost of panel prices, development costs or finance being the main barriers of deployment but instead went on to say that counterproductive policies and regulation red tape were the largest issues. He issued six required changes that would need to enacted if the UK were to let subsidy free solar thrive:
- A reshaping of the regulatory framework to reflect how low carbon technologies are approaching grid parity;
- The abolishment of Contracts for Difference;
- The establishment of long-term PPAs so that carbon intensive and low carbon technologies can compete on a level playing field;
- The re-categorisation of batteries as energy storage;
- Introduction of a regulatory framework to manage the pace and cost associated with a shift to a totally self-regulated decentralised energy system, and;
- A carbon pricing model within a ‘polluter pays’ framework where the levies of energy supply companies are not passed onto consumers.
Kazim also said that in order to keep the energy market fair there must be a carbon price paid by the utility companies that is not passed onto the consumer.
Today is the last day of the Solar Finance and Investment Europe. We look forward to seeing what The Solar Power Portal have to report and how many other experts share this opinion.