Solar Sunrise

Curb Your Solar Enthusiasm

New technologies need public funding. This is the brutal fact that stands between us and a fully renewable future.

The feed-in tariffs around the world have been the most effective in getting deployment.

To cut the solar photovoltaic feed-in tariff in the United Kingdom so quickly and so steeply risks Britain’s economic development.

I’m going to the Parliament to make my voice heard.

I have phoned my democratic representative, the Rt Hon. Iain Duncan Smith MP, and his office say he is not available to speak to me this afternoon, but I have sent this message (see below), and I’m going to join the throng regardless…


Thanks for offering to put this message to XXXXXXXXXXXXXX, the researcher for Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP, on my behalf.

This afternoon sees a mass lobby of Parliament, organised by the “Our Solar Future”, and I hope to be joining a great number of people seeking interviews with their Members of Parliament to protest the Government plans to cut short the high rate solar photovoltaic feed-in tariff.

I accept that the feed-in tariffs for all renewable technologies must be reduced over time as the stimulus from the subsidy creates a market in which they can compete. What I do not accept is the announcement to cut short the original rate, as it has removed confidence in the nascent renewable energy industry, and jobs and projects have already been seriously impacted.

As solar power technology improves, it is clear that manufacturing costs will decrease sharply, and innovation in their installation will also drag costs down for the end consumer. But in order to reach that point, as with all new energy technologies, government support is necessary.

I know that Iain Duncan Smith agrees with me that solar power can play an invaluable role in de-carbonising the UK’s electricity supply. The future of energy for this country must be low carbon, or risk economic and environmental penalties.

It is for this reason that support for solar power should show consistent and appropriate policy, to achieve the highest deployment rates at the minimum cost to the taxpayer. Around the world, the policies that have proved the most significant in increasing the uptake of solar power have been feed-in tariffs.

In the UK, demand for solar power has risen sharply because of the feed-in tariff arrangements, and the solar industry has struggled to meet demand. I myself placed an order for a solar PV installation back in July, and the installation was only completed last week.

I would urge the UK Government – don’t let the UK fall behind and miss the solar revolution.

My recommendation is that the solar photovoltaic feed-in-tariff budget is doubled and that the FiTs are more slowly reduced, to allow the solar industry to continue to fulfill all the orders on their books.

I would not want the legacy of the Coalition Government to be the narrative that they sacked thousands of solar panel fitters for Christmas. A meaner-spirited policy I could not imagine.

Many thanks,

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