Tories slash solar panel funding by 64% – burying the bad news on last day before Christmas break
A drastic drop in ‘feed-in tariff’ payments has been confirmed in a 30-page report by the Department of Energy and Climate Change
The Tories are slashing funding for small household solar panels by 64% – and burying the bad news hours before MPs leave Westminster for Christmas.
A drastic drop in ‘feed-in tariff’ payments has been confirmed today in a 30-page report by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
The £500m total cuts are less severe than what was put forward in the summer, when ministers floated an 87% drop in domestic rates.
Critics had complained the over-budget scheme benefited middle-class families who could afford to spend £10,000 or more on solar panels then reclaim the cash through ‘feed-in tariffs’.
But Labour’s shadow energy secretary Lisa Nandy said: “Today’s short-sighted cuts to the solar industry will cost jobs, hold back a growing industry and undermine progress on climate change.”
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She added: “These cuts stand in stark contrast to the generous handouts Ministers recently announced to dirty diesel generators
“At a time when energy bills are a big concern it makes no sense to limit one of the cheapest forms of clean energy.”
People who build domestic solar panels will receive 4.39p per kilowatt hour of renewable electricity they produce from January, down 64% on the current 12p rate.
Friends of the Earth renewable energy campaigner Alasdair Cameron blasted the decision less than a wee after the Paris climate change conference.
“These huge, misguided cuts to UK solar are a massive blow for jobs and the economy, and further undermine the Government’s already tarnished credibility on tackling climate change,” he said.
“Massive public opposition to the Government’s original proposal may have forced ministers to modify their plans, but this is still terrible news for the UK and its small-scale renewables industry.”
Greenpeace UK energy campaigner Barbara Stoll added: “Bowing to pressure from the public and leading businesses, the Government has swapped a blunt axe for a sharp scalpel, but it’s still cutting in the wrong place.
“If built, one nuclear plant at Hinkley will swallow up four years’ worth of subsidies for the whole solar sector in just one month.”
Blasted: Lisa Nandy MP said the cuts will hurt the solar industry
“Why are ministers signing a blank cheque for expensive, outdated nuclear power whilst pinching pennies for an energy source on the cusp of a massive investment boom?” she continued,
“This makes no economic sense and will only put up bills in the long run.
“How many more jobs, investments and business opportunities are we wasting because of George Osborne’s incoherent policies?”
Jeremy Corbyn raised the threat of solar job cuts at Prime Minister’s Questions last month.
He said 1,000 jobs were being lost in the solar industry and posed a question from three apprentice solar fitters at community project Bannister House.
Ziggy, Israel and Jay asked: “Why do you want to throw all this away?”.
“We have to get the balance right and I am clear that subsidies should be temporary, not part of a permanent business model.
“When the cost of technologies come down, so should the consumer-funded support.”