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Positive signs for solar power in updated EU directive

15 June 2018

Improved support for solar power was claimed by industry bodies representing the sector within the revised EU Renewable Energy Directive.

Although the final details are yet to be published in full, the Solar Trade Association (STA) and Solar Power Europe have provided an overview of the initial details revealed.

These include recognition of the role and rights of prosumers, local government and community energy schemes.

In addition to including the potential to run technology-specific tenders for large-scale solar, there will be simplified red tape requirements for these projects.

Further to these benefits, the new directive also includes the potential to sell surplus power via aggregators, power purchase agreements and peer-to-peer trading, receiving "at least the market price" according to the joint statement.

There will additionally be protection from retrospective charges and exemptions on fees on charges for self-consumed solar up to 25kW that remains within the premises in question, beginning in 2026.

The statement said that the new EU measures should provide some comfort to the UK solar industry, providing safeguards for exported surplus solar remuneration and allowing communities to consider trading solar power.

There is also the possibility of solar-specific clean power auctions, from which the solar sector has previously been excluded in the UK.

As a result, those facilities considering the adoption of solar power will have more options to improve return on investment, depending on whether the UK matches these incentives following Brexit.

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