Solar Power Grants

Solar Power Grants

September 07, 2010 12:23 ET

Solar Power Grants Supports Warning to Chris Huhne Not to Cut Subsidies for Incentives

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Sept. 7, 2010) - Solar Power Grants, the comprehensive guide to incentives available for installing solar technology into your home, has backed the sentiments of an open letter sent to the Secretary of State for Energy, Chris Hume, warning about the implications of reducing subsidies for the generation of green electricity.

The open letter was sent to Huhne last week by a collection of 22 different bodies made up of the Renewable Energy Association, National Farmers' Union, Greenpeace UK and the Solar Trade Association in response to quotes in the Telegraph from the Department of Energy and Climate Change's Minister of State, Charles Hendry.

Hendy said he will be reviewing both the existing Feed-in Tariff (FIT) for the generation of electricity and the next incentive, the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which offers payments for the generation of heat using small on-site green technology which is due to be launched next April.

He said: "We inherited a situation where we could see who was going to benefit commercially but we couldn't really see how it was going to be paid for and that it would create pretty substantial bills".

However, the suggestion that these two incentives may get revised has sparked an instant reaction from a number of green, countryside and housing industry groups and bodies who said cutting the subsidies for the incentives would jeopardise job creation, energy security and carbon emissions targets.

The open letter warning Huhne of the implications concluded by saying: "You published a report with your July energy statement estimating that the cost to households of energy and climate change policies could be counterbalanced by savings from existing energy efficiency policies. We hope Decc ministers will advocate this approach, including in the Comprehensive Spending Review, to explain how essential technological innovation can be paid for. We were disappointed not to see this argument made in recent media coverage.

"Pursuing energy efficiency alongside renewables is clearly the right approach."

Solar Power Grants founder, David Holmes, has backed those behind the open letter, saying too much time, effort and funding has already gone into these incentives to heavily adapt them now.

"The Feed-in Tariff has been live for five months and is proving very successful and, despite much uncertainty, preparations for the Renewable Heat Incentive are well underway," said Holmes.

"Since the launch of the Feed-in Tariff, 8,037 homeowners have opted to have solar PV panels fitted to their homes. They have made this investment with assurances that the tariff would be maintained for the next 25 years. Any chances now would significantly hamper the investments of these people."

Holmes also added that a decision needs to be made as soon as possible concerning the Renewable Heat Incentive with the industry still unsure whether the scheme will see the light of day next year with the Lib-Con government showing very little support for the Labour-initiated programme.

"Major companies are now getting onboard with solar technology because of the Feed-in Tariff," added Holmes.

"Huge companies like British Gas and Marks & Spencer are now offering solar deals based around the two incentives. It shows the industry is taking these green schemes very seriously, but to make changes to them now will mean serious repercussions for these giant firms, not to mention the smaller companies who have a green-technology-focussed business."

For all the latest information on the Feed-in Tariff and the Renewable Heat Incentive, please visit www.solarpowergrants.co.uk.

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