21 Apr 2011 04:04:47
3 Steps to Help Save the UK Solar Industry
The situation regarding the UK solar industry is more serious than initially anticipated, and if you support solar, we need you to take 3 actions:
1. Send a letter of support tor to David Cameron (copying in Vince Cable) from your company/organisation and email it onto your colleagues/members asking them to do the same. Please view our example letter attached here
, which we encourage you to adapt.
2. Send a second letter (example attached
) to your local MP, The more personal and constituency specific, the better. Ask your MP to contact Vince Cable and Chris Huhne (local MPs can be found at http://findyourmp.parliament.uk)
3. Email your colleagues/clients/customers asking them to write to David Cameron (copying in Vince Cable) and their MPs (example attached
The main points about why we are in this situation, and what the real problems are, are laid out below:
- In the spending review the government imposed a cap on the feed-in tariff (FIT), and limited the scheme further by capping the budget to a fraction of the level that anyone in industry anticipated. This has pulled the rug from under the industry and created an inevitable boom and bust scenario forecast within approximately 18 months when the remaining funds are now anticipated to run out.
- DECC has realised this situation but instead of working to rectify it by asking treasury to remove the cap, or relieve the problem by combining the FIT and ROC budgets which are under-spent, instead it has focussed its efforts on trying to reduce the rate funds are used up by proposing new tariff levels that are commercially unviable for larger-scale (or any scale standalone) solar projects – thereby preventing these projects from happening.
- This is not a logical or workable solution. Larger-scale solar power plants are not a 'threat', as per DECC's recent press releases – but a huge opportunity to deliver up to 50 years of clean, low carbon, decentralised, secure, green energy. We need solar power at all scales! The real threat is the fast approaching energy crisis, and solar power at all scales is the only decentralised renewable energy technology that can be deployed fast enough to address our clean energy needs.
- Furthermore, this attack on what was fast becoming a success story is rapidly destroying investor confidence in the UK as a safe place for low carbon investment. We were predicting tens of thousands of new green jobs, UK manufacturing opportunities, and we believed it when the Government said they wanted to be the greenest government ever, and that the UK was open for business.
- It's not too late, and the solar industry is prepared to accept reasonable cuts in tariff levels - but we need the Government to resolve the 'boom and bust' funding issue created in the spending review, to enable us to benefit from secure, clean, reliable solar energy projects of all sizes – on our homes, our businesses, our industries and in our communities.
The Low Carbon Economy Ltd