Published by: Solarcentury
Joan Walley MP, Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee said:
“It doesn’t make economic sense to let the sun go down on the solar industry in the UK. As well as helping to cut carbon emissions, every panel that is installed brings in VAT for the Government and every company that benefits from the support is keeping people in work.”
Jeremy Leggett, Chairman, Solarcentury:
“When DECC dropped its bombshell on 31st October, we said that the shock announcement was unfair, retrospective and damaging to investment in PV and other renewables. It’s very pleasing to see that the select committees have voiced similar concerns, adding considerable political pressure on the Government to ensure that such a shambles is never repeated in the future.”
“We strongly urge the Secretary of State to reconsider the High Court Judges very clear ruling yesterday, and not plunge the industry into a further period of uncertainty by considering going to appeal, and to conduct the remainder of the current consultation process properly with constructive conversations with the industry “
The report calls for the Government to:
· Develop a system to review and adjust FiT rates in an orderly and timely way
· Consider alternative energy efficiency requirements to avoid devastating the industry
· Design a ‘community tariff’ that takes in to account the wider impacts on community groups and social housing projects
· Collaborate between DECC and BIS Departments on how the FiTs scheme could be used to encourage solar panel manufacturing in the UK
· Require electricity suppliers to provide annual returns on how much FiTs have added to annual electricity bills.
Further information can be found at www.parliament.uk/ecc and http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/environmental-audit-committee/
Charlotte Webster, Solarcentury 07990 583307, 0207 8030148 Charlotte.firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
1. Photographs of Friends of the Earth’s action outside the High Court last week are available, for free at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwwfoecouk/sets/72157628428618941/
2. More than 17,000 people have asked the Government to keep supporting clean British energy – join them now at www.foe.co.uk/finaldemand
3. On Monday 31 October 2011 the Government launched a public consultation that would see the amount of solar panels installed each year fall by between 70 and 95 per cent: http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/pn11_091/pn11_091.aspx
4. The Government’s proposals have already had a devastating impact. Countless planned clean energy schemes have been abandoned and thousands of jobs are under threat. Last month a report commissioned by Friends of the Earth and Cut Don’t Kill – an alliance of solar firms and consumer and environmental organisations – revealed the premature cuts could threaten 29,000 jobs and lose the Treasury up to £230 million a year in tax income. Earlier this month construction firm Carillion warned 4,500 workers their jobs are at risk because of the Government’s proposals.
5. The Government’s decision to slash solar funding was described by the CBI as an ‘own goal’ on Thursday 10 November 2011. http://www.cbi.org.uk/media-centre/speeches/2011/11/john-cridlands-speech-to-cbi-east-midlands-annual-dinner/
6. Solar cuts will cost Treasury millions and destroy up to 29,000 jobs: http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/solar_cuts_cost_millions_23112011.html
7. The ‘Cut, don’t kill campaign’ on www.oursolarfuture.org.uk has been joined by thousands in calling for a re think on the Governments Feed-in tariff decisions.
8. Over 11,000 people have viewed the ‘Cut, don’t kill’ campaign video ‘The Big Solar Backtrack’ in just one week http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pGNn80T1oA
9. Solarcentury says the Government’s actions are unlawful because: the consultation pre-judges its own result and, by setting the 12 December date, DECC has failed to take account of the long lead time projects which will be made impossible by this 6 week deadline. It also breaches the legitimate expectation which solar companies and customers have that any changes to the tariff would be made in a fair way according to the correct procedures.
10. Solarcentury is calling on the Government to stop the current illegal consultation; re-do it properly and commit to setting any eligibility date for projects fairly, after the consultation process and according to the correct procedures.
11. Solarcentury has many further arguments about how the Feed in Tariffs for solar PV should be funded and managed. These form part of its consultation response rather than part of the legal challenge. Examples of solar energy projects that have either been scrapped or are in jeopardy are available from Solarcentury’s press office – please call 02078030148/07990 5833079 for more information