Ministers' compulsive tinkering on solar will damage UK’s energy security

Last edited 13 May 2014 at 10:41am
13 May, 2014

Commenting on the subsidy review for solar energy published by the government today, Greenpeace UK chief scientist Dr Doug Parr said: 

“Solar is hugely popular in the UK, costs are falling faster than for any other energy source, and the latest technology is on track to beat nuclear on price. Sowing uncertainty for a key source of clean, homegrown energy, as ministers are doing, makes no economic, political, or strategic sense.

“Far from hitting the big energy companies this compulsive policy tinkering sucks confidence out of independent generation and leaves the future of community solar projects up in the air – yet independent producers are our best hope to challenge the big six’s stranglehold on the market.

“The fracking industry makes wild claims about getting us off energy imports and gets everything it wants from Government even though it’s locally unpopular and production is a decade away. Instead an industry like solar that enjoys strong public backing and is delivering electricity and jobs right now has to keep reacting to routine cycles of uncertainty and reviews.”

ENDS

Key facts about solar

1.Globally, solar costs have tumbled 80% since 2008. The Economist reported they fell by 99% since the 1970s.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-21/grid.html

2.New wind and solar plants generate cheaper low-carbon electricity than the latest nuclear reactors

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-16/new-wind-solar-power-cheaper-than-nuclear-option-study-shows.html

3.In Spain solar installations have for the first time produced electricity at the same cost for bill payers as conventional power from the grid.  

http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/newsdesk/energy/analysis/first-solar-generation-parity-project-spain-plugged

4.The  solar panel industry is the biggest renewable sector employer worldwide, giving work to 2.27 million people, according to Irena.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/12/solar-industry-renewables-jobs-china-us

5.Nearly a third of electricity capacity added in America last year came from solar, with the proportion rising to 100% even in some US states.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/10755598/Global-solar-dominance-in-sight-as-science-trumps-fossil-fuels.html

Contact: Stefano Gelmini, Greenpeace UK press officer, m 07506 512442

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