Boost for commercial property rooftop solar

26th March 2015


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  • Renewable ,
  • Business & Industry

Author

Andrew Fletcher

Companies wanting to install up to 1MW of solar panels on commercial buildings will no longer need planning permission, the government announced yesterday.

In a written statement to parliament on changes to the planning system, the communities and local government secretary, Eric Pickles, said the government wants to encourage take-up of solar generation on roof space and developed land. Previously, all solar panel projects over 50KW needed planning permission.

Nina Skorupska, chief executive at the Renewable Energy Association, said the measure would boost the solar sector and help developers avoid uncertainty after cuts in feed-in tariff rates created uncertainty in the industry.

“Solar installed on commercial buildings has the potential to generate significant amounts of clean electricity, yet it is a considerably underdeveloped area, and the rigidity of the planning system has long been a major barrier to its progress,” she said.

David Pickup, business analyst at the Solar Trade Association, also welcomed the move, but warned: “There isn’t enough room for this market to grow before the feed-in tariffs drops to zero, killing the market completely.”


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