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Industry welcomes Commons’ inquiry into solar technologies 

Solar Energy UK
03 November 2022 

Solar Energy UK has welcomed the formal opening of a Commons inquiry into solar energy and the Prime Minister confirming his support for renewable energy.[1]  

The Environmental Audit Committee said today that it would investigate the role solar technologies and energy storage can play as the UK decarbonises towards net zero as part of a broader consideration of technological innovation and climate change. It will also weigh up the regulatory, technical, development planning and other barriers to expanding small and large-scale installations, alongside supply chain issues and grid connectivity.  

Members and friends of the association are encouraged to submit evidence by the deadline of 5 pm on Thursday, 1 December.   

The inquiry will also cover whether the sector has sufficient capacity to meet the rapidly rising demand for solar panels on residential and commercial properties. Solar Energy UK is working on encouraging young people to join the industry and providing them with appropriate training in response to this challenge.  

“The Environmental Audit Committee’s opening of an inquiry into solar energy is most timely, given the rapid growth of the sector this year, a direct consequence of the energy price crisis. Even so, it is still being held back, particularly by both the lack of available connections to the grid and trained installers, potential solutions for which we will be discussing with the MPs,” said Solar Energy UK Chief Executive Chris Hewett.  

Coincidentally, Hewett gave evidence to the Commons’ Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee inquiry into the decarbonisation of the power sector on Tuesday.[2]  

“The quicker we can get [solar power] onto the network, the quicker we can get expensive, volatile gas off the grid, delivering a lot of cheap power to consumers,” he told the committee.  

The announcement comes a day after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that he would be attending the COP27 climate talks in Egypt “to deliver on Glasgow’s legacy of building a secure and sustainable future”.  

“There is no long-term prosperity without action on climate change. There is no energy security without investing in renewables,” he tweeted.[3]  

“The Prime Minister’s decision to attend COP27 and emphasise renewables’ economic, energy security and carbon benefits is to be welcomed. It also appears to signal that the new Government has abandoned former Environment Secretary Ranil Jayawardena’s plans to sabotage the expansion of cheap power from solar farms, which would have been a disastrous policy. To settle investor concerns, however, we still need greater clarity from the top of Government,” said Hewett.[4] 

[1] EAC launches new inquiry examining solar energy technologies 

[2] House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee evidence session on the decarbonisation of the power sector 

[3] Tweet from Rishi Sunak 

[4] Ministers hope to ban solar projects from most English farms 

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Editors’ notes: 
For more information or to request an interview, please contact: 

Gareth Simkins, Senior Communications Adviser | [email protected] 

[email protected] | solarenergyuk.org