Green Party energy spokesperson Cllr Andrew Cooper has condemned the huge cuts the government has proposed to the feed-in tariff for solar energy. Under plans put forward by the Department for Energy and Climate Change, the amount paid to homeowners producing electricity from roof-top solar panels will fall dramatically, from the current level of 12.92p to just 1.63p. Science and technology spokesperson James Abbott, meanwhile, described the government’s claim to be the “greenest government ever” as a “sick joke”.
“It is ludicrous that the renewables sector does not have at least the same degree of support and certainty that the government is providing for new nuclear power stations and fracking.
“Currently only around 1.5% of UK homes have solar panels on their roofs. If we are serious about addressing climate change, reducing fuel bills and addressing fuel poverty then we need to be investing in renewable technologies, not cutting them.
“The cuts to the feed-in tariff will have only a negligible impact on energy bills but will have a destabilising effect on the whole UK solar industry, threatening thousands of jobs. This proposed cut makes no sense for business and threatens our meagre carbon reduction targets.”
“These further cuts, considered alongside all the other moves by the Conservatives to reduce support for renewables and energy efficiency since the election, are simply ideological. The claim to be the ‘greenest government ever’ is now just a sick joke and the only people laughing are the climate sceptics and their friends in the fossil fuel industries.
“The Conservative position on green energy is not only ideological, it is illogical. Renewables will be key to cutting carbon emissions and improving air quality, both of which the Government says it is still committed to doing.
“It also makes no sense looking at the implications for economic security – renewables offer the UK a secure source of clean, home grown energy. Because of its geography and climate the UK has some of the best renewable energy resources in Europe. If the renewables sector does not grow to meet its undoubted potential, the UK will still need to rely on imported energy, with all the uncertainties and risks that involves.”