Solar industry proposes emergency £1 rescue plan

The solar industry has put forward an emergency rescue plan for British solar as an alternative to the Government’s proposed cuts to the Feed-in Tariff.

The Solar Trade Association (STA) says it hopes that its ‘£1 solar rescue plan’ will allow a viable solar market to continue while giving the Government the cost control guarantees it requires.

The plan would add an extra £1 per year on average household energy bills from 2019 for new solar deployed over the next three years. The STA says this would generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 875,000 homes.

An action day outside the House of Commons yesterday garnered support from over 30 MPs, including Sir David Amess MP (Con), Mims Davies MP (Con), Kevin Hollinrake MP (Con), Caroline Flint MP (Lab), Caroline Lucas MP (Green), Callum McCaig MP (SNP) and Tom Brake MP (Lib Dem).

The Government consultation on the changes is set to close today, with a final decision expected later this year.

Leonie Greene, head of external affairs, Solar Trade Association, said: “This emergency plan represents a compromise agreement which, given the current crisis, aims to find a way forward that is acceptable for both the Government and the solar industry.

“The fact that this plan costs just £1 per household shows just how affordable it could be to adopt steady, gradual reductions in support for solar.

“Solar is close to grid parity, but it is not there yet. The Government’s 98% cut in the overall budget for solar would derail the industry at the last hurdle and waste the millions of public investment in solar to date.”

The STA’s proposal introduces higher tariffs than those proposed by Government, with higher and more flexible caps on the total amount of solar that can be deployed and an improved mechanism to continually bring support levels down.

The trade body is asking for a total of £95m over the next three years, a significant increase on the £7m the Government is proposing over the same period.