Thursday, September 3, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 3rd September 2015

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

It seems that our ‘greenest government ever’ is about to deal another stinging blow to the renewable energy industry. In a consultation document just released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) it is proposed that the feed-in tariff, paid to householders who install solar panels on their roof, should reduce by 87%.

From 1 January, 2016 the feed-in tariff for small scale installations will reduce from 12.47p per unit to 1.63p per unit, taking away any monetary incentive to install solar panels. Large scale, stand alone units will only be eligible for a payment of 1.03p per unit instead of 4.28p. These cuts, alongside the already announced removal of financial assistance for new onshore windfarms and for home energy efficiency measures can only lead to many losses of companies and jobs in the fledgling industries that the country desperately needs.

The DECC documents also admit that cuts in the tariffs could lead to fewer installations – probably the most obvious conclusion that could be reached! The cost of installing solar panels has gradually reduced over recent years as more and more people are able to afford them so a reasonable cut in feed-in tariffs is only to be expected but surely, this is a step too far?

A representative from Friends of the Earth commented that these cuts will prevent almost one million homes, schools and hospitals from having the advantage of independent, clean and renewable energy.

Our government would rather subsidise fracking for gas rather than clean energy.

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