Help Save UK Solar From The Axe

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Originally published on The ECOreport.

In 2010, the UK set up a solar feed-in tariff (FiT) that has been far more successful than it anticipated. The country slashed it in half the following year and now proposes slashing the tariff another 87% in January 2016. Only, Britain’s rooftop solar industry is not yet ready to stand on its’ own so Solar Compared sent out the infogram below in the hope it will help save UK solar from the axe.

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Government Subsidies

Renewables are not the only energy sector being subsidized. The European Commission’s decision to approve roughly €100 billion in subsidies for UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s pet nuclear project, Hinkley Point C, is currently being challenged. If this subsidy goes through, the Commission would provide £92.5/megawatt-hour (MWh) in support for 35 years to the 3.2 gigawatt (GW) nuclear project.

That’s higher than the current price of solar (£80/MWh) but, according to an article in the Guardian, not as low as the £50/MWh for fossil fuels. (But that last figure does not take into account $543 million to $1.2 billion a year that the UK government gives the fossil fuel industry in subsidies and tax incentives — i.e., this is not a real comparison.)

Jim Watson, the director of the UK Energy Research Centre, estimated that the average bill-payer shells out £10 per year to subsidize solar.

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David Cameron’s Conservative Government

A month after the UK’s FiT program started up, in 2010, David Cameron was elected Prime Minister. His government made the cuts in 2010 and are proposing deeper reductions for 2016. According to the Guardian:

In 2013, Prime minister David Cameron called environmental policies that increased household bills “green crap”. Last week, a source at the Department for Energy and Climate Change (Decc) told the Telegraph: “[Energy secretary Amber Rudd] is determined to get a grip of these out-of-control subsidies and make sure that hardworking billpayers are getting a fair deal.”

That is a little of the background behind the infographic below:

Save UK Solar

By Solar Compared

Sign the petition here.

Photo Credits: Fracking Tories by Teacher Dud via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License); Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State at DECC. (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)


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Roy L Hales

is the President of Cortes Community Radio , CKTZ 89.5 FM, where he has hosted a half hour program since 2014, and editor of the Cortes Currents (formerly the ECOreport), a website dedicated to exploring how our lifestyle choices and technologies affect the West Coast of British Columbia. He is a research junkie who has written over 2,000 articles since he was first published in 1982. Roy lives on Cortes Island, BC, Canada.

Roy L Hales has 441 posts and counting. See all posts by Roy L Hales