Sunday, 20 February 2011

Stop Government cuts to solar (and wind)!

This month the Government has announced moves to cut funding to solar power as well as wind power. We knew that a lot of Tories hate wind power, but spending on commercial solar pv is another example of what the Government  wants to cut in the Renewables Programme in order to shift resources to nuclear power. The Government is reviewing support, under the small (up to 5MW) feed-in tariff scheme, to support solar photovoltaic (pv) schemes over 50 KW in size. The feed-in tariff for small renewable energy projects was approved in 2008.

Amazingly, Chris Huhne, the energy frontman for what is allegedly the 'greenest ever government' sees commercial solar pv schemes as a 'threat'. That is according to the title of a DECC press release that says: 'Huhne takes action on solar power threat'. The press release ( says that commercially sized solar pv farms 'might soak up money intended to help homes, communities and small businesses generate their own electricity'. What money is this? Actually it is electricity consumers' money which the Government prefers to divert to nuclear power rather than solar power. Has the Government asked the electricity consumers whether they would prefer to see their money spent on solar farms rather than nuclear power? Please let your MP what you think of all of this, preferably by writing to them to support funding solar power rather than nuclear power. See more details of the support solar campaign on: 

Meanwhile, Chris Hendry has signalled a clampdown on funding for onshore wind power. In a press release trying to placate anti-wind Tory backbenchers he said:

'Wind turbines should be positioned where the wind resource is strongest. So this year we are bringing forward a full review of the funding mechanism, so we can ensure that subsidies will not make it attractive to put windfarms in unsuitable locations.' See

What are unsuitable locations for windfarms, one wonders? Where there is a local Tory MP with the wind up? Yes, I assume that is what they mean.  But of course an advantage for the Government in cutting spending on wind power is that (for a given level of electricity consumer bills) the less money is spent on windfarms, the more money is left for spending on nuclear power! The 'review of the funding mechanism' to which Chris Hendry refers is part of the Electricity Market Reform which this blog has already denounced as a means of curbing renewable energy expansion in favour of nuclear power. Once again I say, stop the efforts to cut renewable energy funding; on the contrary spend more on renewable energy instead of spending to subsidise nuclear power. Write to your MP telling him/her this!

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