Government urged to back solar after India trade deal

The Solar Trade Association (STA) has urged the UK Government to back its domestic solar industry after a series of trade deals with India.

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, has today signed £10billion worth of agreements, including a £2bn deal with STA member Lightsource Renewable Energy.  

The deal will mean Lightsource will design, install and manage around 3GW of solar power infrastructure in India over the next five years.

The Lightsource deal will create an expected 300 jobs and £42million of revenue in the UK, as well as benefiting hundreds of families in India.

“The Government in India has ambitious plans to electrify India and Lightsource will contribute significantly to that goal. India will be a key market for Lightsource in the future,” said the CEO of Lightsource Renewable Energy, Nick Boyle.

The Indian Prime Minister’s announcement precedes the UN Paris climate conference, where he will launch his International Agency for Solar Policy and Application initiative. 

Modi has invited 110 nations to join the initiative, which is expected to attract $100 billion of solar business by 2020. India is aiming to install 100GW of solar power by 2022.

"This visit by the Indian Prime Minister, probably the world's greatest solar advocate, should make British politicians stop and think about what is at stake economically and technologically,” said the STA’s Head of External Affairs, Leonie Greene. 

“While Modi is lining up an anticipated $100bn of global solar business, the UK is pushing most of its solar industry backwards, leaving us at an international disadvantage. It is not too late for our Government to get fully behind the British solar industry and ensure we take full advantage of global solar markets estimates to be worth trillions of pounds over the coming decade.”

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues