A new campaign has been launched in the UK in an attempt to convince the UK Government to rethink its cuts to small-scale renewable support.
The new campaign, People Power, is being jointly run by RenewableUK, the UK’s trade body for onshore and offshore wind, as well as wave and tidal energy, and the UK’s Solar Trade Association, “opposing the Government’s plans to cut financial support to small-scale renewables, including wind turbines and solar panels.”
Specifically, according to RenewableUK, the campaign “is calling for members of the public, as well as the thousands of renewable energy employees, to petition the Government to provide more stable support to these maturing sectors by writing to their local MP and harnessing the power of social media.”
Much has already been written about the UK Government’s current plans to affect changes to the governmental support given to the renewable energy industry. Such changes to policy were responsible for the UK’s falling out of EY’s most recent Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index for the first time since the Index was established in 2003.
Specifically, much of the policy changes being implemented or rumored are focused on hurting smaller installations and the burgeoning stability of the UK’s solar and onshore wind industry.
“This campaign is about sending a simple message to Government: don’t wreck an industry, which for the first time has given people the power to control their own energy supply,” said Gemma Grimes, Director of Policy – Consents & Intelligence at RenewableUK. “Small-scale renewables is an extraordinary success in the UK, creating thousands of new green jobs and allowing local communities to generate their own clean energy.”
One of the major targets of the policy changes is the country’s wildly successful Feed-in Tariff program, which is likely to be drastically castrated if the current policies are allowed to come to fruition.
The Feed-In Tariff provides a lifeline to the rural economy, allowing farmers and small businesses to “diversify their income and save on their electricity bills, especially during tough economic times,” added Grimes. “The Government’s actions are in danger of consigning this great work to the past.”
“Poll after poll shows the great majority of the public strongly supports local renewable energy,” added Leonie Greene, Head of External Affairs at the Solar Trade Association. “Yet Government proposals for Feed-in Tariffs are extreme and they will stop families and communities from investing locally in clean energy all over the UK. This would be an astonishing step backwards as we head toward crucial climate talks in Paris.”
“To prevent this happening it is vital that people make their voice heard in Parliament right now. Individual voices are small but together we can deliver a message that Westminster cannot ignore. The Action for Renewables website makes it easy for people to contact their MP and urge them to fight these proposals and protect people power.”