Campaigner slams government over solar record - The Worcester Observer

Campaigner slams government over solar record

Worcester Editorial 12th Nov, 2015 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016   0

THE CHAIR of Worcester’s Green Party has slammed Government plans to axe subsidies for domestic solar panels from the end of the year.

Louis Stephen made the claim while showing his support for the industry by having solar panels installed at his home by local firm 2020SolarPV.

The campaigner lent his support to the industry by having a nine kw system installed at his family’s home in Bath Road and said the Government plans threatened jobs in the local area.

Mr Stephen pointed to figures from the Solar Trade Association which has estimated that the jobs of up to 27,000 people in the UK solar energy sector out of a total of 35,000 could be at risk due to the proposed 87 per cent cut to the domestic feed-in tariff for solar energy.

Green Party chiefs say the Government policy is expected to affect local jobs, with the West Midlands set to lose over 2,000 solar jobs most from small to medium sized local businesses.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change proposed at the end of August to cut the tariff paid for electricity generated by solar rooftop panels from 12.4p to 1.6p as of January 2016.

Solar has been praised for the way it allows households and communities to take charge of their energy bills and act on climate change.

An alliance of organisations ranging from the National Farmers Union, the Confederation of British Industry, social housing providers and local authorities recently urged the government to “urgently reconsider” its proposed cuts

Mr Stephen said: “As can be seen by the government’s recent defeat on working tax credits, it is possible to change government policy and I would urge everyone to sign the petition to save these vital jobs and protect our environment.

“I’m very pleased to be using this local supplier and would encourage anyone who can afford it with a suitable location to do the same before the government changes kick in at the end of the year,” he added.

Alasdair Cameron, Friends of the Earth’s renewables campaigner, said: “The government’s war on renewable energy threatens tens of thousands of solar jobs and billions of pounds in investment, which could leave the UK trailing far behind other countries on green energy.”

Across the UK there are currently just under 700,000 solar homes.

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