Government plans to cut subsidies for large scale solar, and to consult on changes to support for rooftop solar announced this morning (Wednesday 22 July) have been heavily criticised by Friends of the Earth.

The move is the latest Government attack on the development of a green UK economy following the implementation of a ‘carbon tax’ on renewable energy, increased levies on green cars and the scrapping of the zero carbon homes target.

Friends of the Earth energy campaigner Alasdair Cameron said:

This latest attack on the green economy will cast a long shadow over the UK solar industry, and undermine efforts to tackle climate change.

“This won't lower electricity bills – all new energy is being subsidised to some extent and solar is already cheaper than nuclear and will soon be cheaper than gas from new power stations.

Solar Panels (PD)“This is entirely a problem of the Government’s creation. The Treasury has placed arbitrary limits on clean power, but solar has proved too popular and efficient, and the Government seems to lack the imagination to adapt.

“If David Cameron wants to have any credibility ahead of this year’s crucial climate talks, he must end his support for dirty fossil fuels, such as fracking, and stop his government destroying the UK’s burgeoning renewable sector.”

However, Friends of the Earth welcomed news that curbs were being placed on converting large coal plants to burn biomass, wood fuel.

“We welcome Government moves to stop some forms of biomass from getting support. Burning wood for fuel can be worse than burning coal, and energy sources that cannot show significant carbon reductions shouldn’t get support.”

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