Westminster Hamstrings Scots Green Revolution

08 November 2011
Alyn Smith MEP has hit out at UK Government plans to cut feed in tariffs (FITs) for solar panels, saying that the current consultation is nothing more than a ‘tick-box exercise’.

The UK Government has included in the proposals a date of December 12th as the ‘reference date’ when plans for new panels must be in place, despite the fact the consultation process will last another two weeks (December 23rd).

Mr Smith has written to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne demanding a rethink.

Commenting, Alyn Smith MEP said:

“It is clear from these details that the consultation process is nothing more than a tick-box exercise by the UK Government.

“Feed in tariffs are not the ideal way to fund the renewables revolution, but this cut by the Tory / LibDem government will see funding for supplying the national grid slashed by half at a time when the European Climate Foundation is telling us that spending on updating the grid needs to double.

“This could have a devastating impact for households and businesses across Scotland. The market needs time to develop and this move would see the rug being pulled from under it, just as it was getting off the ground. There are thousands of jobs at stake in Scotland here, not to mention the lower energy bills and fewer climate emissions.

“As if this isn’t bad enough, the planned implementation of the December 12th date means that people seeking to have panels installed on their property will be penalised while the consultation is still on-going.  This is completely unreasonable and cannot be allowed to stand. I’ve been contacted by constituents and interests professionals who are quite rightly up in arms about this proposal.

“I have myself been looking at PV solar panels for my house, however if these consultation plans are implemented then it would become on the verge of being financially prohibitive. I can only assume that there are others like myself out there reconsidering investing in this technology.”
Ends

Details of the consultation can be found here:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/gb_fits/gb_fits.aspx

“Today I am publishing a consultation paper on proposed changes to Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) for solar photovoltaics (PV).  The consultation will close on 23 December 2011.”

“We are proposing that the new generation tariffs should apply from 1 April 2012 to all new solar PV installations which become eligible for FITs on or after an earlier ‘reference date’ which we propose should be 12 December 2011.”