Solar industry takes tariff fight to Lords
Tuesday 21 June 2011
Solar industry campaigners have their last chance to save much-needed subsidies today as MPs meet to decide if the Government's controversial cuts warrant a debate in the House of Commons.
The Merits Committee, chaired by Lord Goodlad, is to consider a letter co-signed by some 58 organisations and businesses – including the Solar Trade Association, the Co-operative, and the Town and Country Planning Association – calling for a rethink of Government plans to slash the "feed-in tariff" (FiT) scheme barely more than year after it was introduced.
The committee could trigger a parliamentary debate and vote on the Government's proposals to cut the subsidy rates available to solar power projects of more than 50 kilowatts (kW) – roughly the size of a hospital or housing association scheme – by between 38 and 70 per cent. If the changes go ahead the industry argues it is unlikely any projects of more than 50kW will be built.
Much of debate centres on the comparative cost of solar power. A report from the Climate Change Committee last month backed new nuclear as the cheapest option for the green power Britain needs to hit its carbon-reduction targets. But the solar industry disputes the point, claiming that solar costs should be compared with retail prices, because of the scale of the technology.
A report from Ernst & Young yesterday suggests that solar will compete with retail grid prices as soon as mid-2012, if current subsidy levels are maintained, rather than the mid-2016 "parity" point with wholesale costs. Plans to rejig the FiT will hike solar energy prices still further by pushing investment back down to smaller, less efficient installations, says E&Y.
Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery rumours: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
iJobs Money & Business
£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...
£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...