“A year has passed since the Comprehensive Spending Review and the solar panel industry is nervous as to what the upcoming Comprehensive Consultation on the feed-in tariffs holds.”
The take-up for photovoltaic, solar panels has been huge since the feed-in tariffs began in April last year, so good that, looking at the budget constraints, it is clear that the high rate of tariffs offered to new adopters will have to be lowered sooner than the 2013 date originally specified.
The current budget will not sustain another year of growth, with the demand for solar technology so strong, with around 550MW installed since the feed-in tariffs began. Bringing in a lower rate of tariffs to newer adopters seems almost inevitable.
This was made apparent at the Conservative conference this week when George Osborne publicly attacked green laws and regulations as “piling costs on to energy bills” and appeared to abandon earlier aspirations of leadership for the UK on the low carbon economy.
The chancellor is now panicking about the lack of growth in the economy. When we panic, we revert to our default self, and our true self comes out. The Treasury never really understood the green economy and is now reverting to bringing growth at any environmental cost, which is wrong for one simple reason.
Choosing solar panels is a long-term investment
The UK can be a leader or a follower in green technologies. This is an incredible once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, which other countries are pursuing, so if we as a nation follow their footsteps, we will export jobs and import equipment. Or we can be market leaders and export equipment and create jobs for the rising unemployed.
Choosing low carbon technology is a great long-term investment, not only for households but governments and nations too.
The promise of ecological action had been at the heart of the Conservative party’s branding of itself as modern and compassionate. “Vote blue, go green” was their slogan, but its leaders are getting their politics badly wrong with the about-turn, showing the return of the original ‘nasty’ party.
Vote-winning but crazy policies
Mr Osborne’s comments were aimed at consumers who are worried about making ends meet and the cost of rising energy bills, but this short term thinking is another example of Margaret Thatcher’s and successive Prime Ministers’ short-sighted views when the North Sea Oil fields were discovered. Instead of investing in long-term energy security, the revenues were squandered on short term political gain.
These types of policies have come to the forefront again, which include the spending of £897m on new roads, which were first proposed years ago and deemed unnecessary even when money was abundant.
The building of more roads and the increase of the motorway speed limits equal more global warming and peak oil rushing at us at an ever increasing rate (80mph to be precise-excuse the pun).
To suggest that our government has their priorities wrong is more than just an understatement. It’s a massive cause for concern, especially as output of oil in the North Sea and ultimately, revenue from that, has been falling each year since 2004.
As previously stated, “the early bird catches the worm “and this is very true with the adoption of solar panel technology, so take full advantage of the feed-in tariffs before they diminish, or worse, are spent on buying votes.
"Feel the pride."
Stuart Lovatt on
Founder of Heat My Home.