Paul Barwell to step down from the Solar Trade Association

Paul will stay on to support the STA while a new CEO is recruited

Paul will stay on to support the STA while a new CEO is recruited

The Solar Trade Association (STA) has started the recruitment process for a new CEO after Paul Barwell announced his decision to stand down to the STA Board earlier this summer.

Paul, who has been CEO of the STA since 2012, has overseen the transformation of the association, originally established in 1978, to become the leading voice of the solar industry and one fully able to support the industry’s rapid growth. Over 12GW of solar capacity has been deployed during this period, supplying four per cent of UK electricity.

During Paul’s tenure, the STA has achieved a number of key wins for the solar sector, as well as providing national leadership on industry standards. This work has helped generate record levels of public support for the technology despite its incredible growth.

The hard-earned policy successes include: softening the government’s proposed Feed in Tariff changes during two major reviews; reducing the impact of the Renewable Obligation closure for investors; negotiating fair business rates for exported solar; defining national standards for the development and construction of solar farms through STA’s ‘10 Commitments’; defending and defining the cost of integrating solar into the grid; designing and retaining the maximum Renewable Heat Incentive tariff for solar thermal; identifying barriers to non-domestic rooftops and securing permitted development; winning five per cent VAT for solar and new storage; defining strong standards for Operation and Maintenance of solar projects; and establishing ‘Solar Independence Day’.

Paul said: “This was a hard decision. It has been a real privilege to support the growth of a unique & special technology that is so vital for a prosperous future.

“It is time for a change for me personally but I won’t be going far. I am pursuing some commercial interests that are very much embedded in the solar sector and I hope to remain a part of the STA’s extraordinary network as a member in due course.”