Solar Power October 2015

Thank you for contacting me recently regarding the Government’s proposal to cut support for solar power.

I appreciate that solar power is one of the cheapest forms of large scale renewable energy and is one of the great economic success stories in the UK in recent years, supporting 35,000 jobs, adding £33bn in value to the UK economy, and helping nearly 1m households reduce their reliance on the big six energy firms. I have been supporting installation of solar panels in all schools in Nottingham North which could potentially save up to £288,000 a year.

As I am sure you are aware, the previous Labour Government made real progress on climate change through action such as the 2008 Climate Change Act, which was a world first. I am therefore very concerned about the Government’s latest proposition of effectively ending the ‘feed-in tariff’, a scheme that supports domestic scale renewable energy, principally solar power, and which Labour introduced in early 2010.

I am alarmed, at the doubt and confusion that the current Government are showing about climate change and renewable energy. Recently, for the first time the UK dropped out of the top 10 most attractive countries for renewable energy investment according to international consultancy firm EY. Investment in renewable energy has fallen by more than half since the 2010 General Election and I know that some green investors are putting investments in the UK on hold as a result of the Government’s inaction.

The Government needs to create a "stable policy framework" to build a low-risk environment for investment which would enable the UK to decarbonise the energy system while keeping national infrastructure costs low.

I also believe the Government needs to do more to encourage local communities to be involved in energy generation, as this will not only help break the near total monopoly that the 'Big Six' energy companies currently enjoy, but it will also help lower prices and benefit consumers.

As you may be aware, at the 2015 General Election, I stood on a manifesto that included a commitment to ensure that we would remain committed to ambitious, legally-binding targets for carbon reduction at home, and would push for global targets abroad that rise every five years, moving us towards zero net global emissions. I believe that if we are to meet our climate change targets, it will be necessary to decarbonise the UK's electricity generation and that is why I believe the renewable energy is a very important for the K.

Thank you once again for writing to me. I will bear in mind the points you have raised.