Today the European Solar Thermal Industries Federation voted not to admit Solar Twin Ltd as members. It decided that “exceptional circumstances” did not exist to the extent to allowing admission of the innovative solar panel company. The block happened because ESTIF’s rules require membership of a national trade solar body which is also a member of ESTIF. But Solartwin’s membership of their national trade body, the Solar Trade Association (STA) is being blocked by the invention of “ghost rules” which, as far as we can see, are not written anywhere in the STA’s constitution.
Later today the Chief Executive of the STA phoned Solartwin’s Commercial and Technical Manager of Solar Twin Ltd, threatening that the solar company had “blown any chance it had of entering the STA” by publishing a report confirming the Legionella compliance status of the Solartwin solar heating system. This independent report was written by Richard Berry of Legionella Control International. It concludes that the Solartwin technology is safer than many of the types of conventional solar thermal systems promoted by the STA.
Barry Johnston, Managing Director of Solar Twin Ltd commented “Both of today’s developments are of concern. “Kill the messenger” seems to be the STA’s modus operandi. But looking on the sunny side, the fact that the STA’s revenge agenda is now out in the open means that Solar Twin Ltd can at least make the case more strongly to ESTIF that “exceptional circumstances” do actually exist to permit bypass the “STA membership” stranglehold.
“I now fear that the STA’s revenge agenda will move into to Europe, unless European competition regulators take this matter on robustly. It is time that some elements in the solar thermal industry acted more responsibly. They could start by welcoming zero carbon innovations and informed, mature debate about safety. Today’s lodge-culture of secrecy, dominance, censorship and revenge must soften” he commented.
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