The consensus from UK installers at the ‘Solar & Storage Live’ exhibition was that new build housing developers need re-educating if they are to realise the benefits that solar and storage installations pose for their current and future projects.
We all expected to see a massive boom for technologies such as new build rooftop solar PV due to the governments zero carbon homes initiative which would see every new housing development to generate as much on-site power via renewables as possible from 2016. However, this was abruptly cancelled the year before.
Sir Ed Davey the former energy secretary described this move as “the worst thing the Tories have done” as the Conservatives then continued to swing further cuts at the renewables sector.
However, due to continued pricing reductions for rooftop solar, we are seeing more and more housing developers turning their attention back to PV.
There are already people questioning the Department for Communities and Local Government over its intentions. Some of these people include Conservative MP Laurence Robertson who asked about their appetite to strengthen building regulations to ensure all new build properties must have solar.
Alok Sharma, housing minister responded advising they currently don’t have any plans, however, directed to a possible strengthening of energy requirements in building regulations as set out in ‘Clean Growth Strategy’.
It appears that developers have not yet come on board in significant numbers, but this could be due to a lack of education within the sector and a remaining fondness for other energy efficiency measures such as double glazing.
Solar and in particular battery storage as commonly seen as expensive ‘Additions’ despite them providing greater returns than many other solutions.