Letter: Solar power for Britain's homes

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The Independent Online
Sir: Congratulations to the Centre of Alternative Technology for installing Britain's largest solar roof (report, 12 May).

Unfortunately these solar events are a rarity in Britain. While other industrialised nations, notably Japan and America, are undertaking or planning massive national programmes which will see hundreds and thousands of homes powered by this new clean technology, in Britain we have just two solar-powered homes.

Historic lack of support from previous governments is the cause. Britain has a strong solar industry, currently producing 10 per cent of the pounds 500m global market. With new government support from the new Labour government our solar industry could be stronger.

Greenpeace is challenging the Government to commit to a minimum solar programme for Britain of 50,000 solar homes by 2010. This can be financed by diverting existing subsidies to the fossil fuel industry to finance the solar programme. This action would catalyse a pounds 100m investment from the British solar industry, create new solar factories for Britain and produce 40,000 new jobs. In opposition the Labour Party promised action on solar power, now they have the power to kick-start a world-class solar industry to help tackle the problem of climate change.



London N1