Thursday, 30 August 2018 05:09


The SNP’s Westminster Energy spokesperson, Drew Hendry MP, has described plans by the Tory government to scrap vital support for solar power as “backward-looking,” and which risks “killing off” a key part of the renewables energy mix. 

In an open letter - signed by the SNP MP alongside more than 200 organisations representing consumer and industry bodies, academics, and NGOs - the Solar Trade Association (STA) urgently called on the UK government to confirm the continuation of the ‘export tariff’ for solar homes, small businesses & community energy projects, from next April.

The ‘export tariff’ is a mechanism that works alongside the Feed-In Tariff to ensure small solar generators are paid at a fair market rate, for the power they feed into the grid.

It comes as the Environmental Audit Committee recently warned about the ‘alarming collapse’ in clean energy investment since 2016, which stems from Tory opposition to policies which enable the industry. Cutting the fair export for solar power risks making this worse, which could lead to further loss of skills & cost efficiencies in the solar industry.

Commenting, Drew Hendry MP said: 

“The Tory government continues to neglect Scotland's renewable industry with a backward-looking energy policy. They are failing to do what is needed to harness Scotland’s enormous renewables potential, which should be allowed to deliver sustainable, long term jobs and lower energy bills.

“Scrapping support for solar power generation is unfair to those who should be benefitting from this technology, and risks killing off a key element of the renewables energy mix, which sticks in the throat given the blank cheque the UK government seems to be providing the nuclear sector.

“The fact that they are happy to support white elephant nuclear projects, whilst pulling this vital renewable energy support, failing to support the oil and gas sector in its hour of need, and pulling the plug on the innovative Carbon Capture and Storage project at Peterhead  - shows where the priorities of this Tory government lies.

“The Tory government must stop ignoring the sector’s warning signs and urgently drop this policy before solar power’s potential is killed of entirely.” 

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