17 February 2009
Lynne Jones MP calls for solar power across UK
Lynne Jones MP has joined 90 other MPs supporting the popular new campaign ‘We support Solar’ (www.wesupportsolar.net). A Commons motion (EDM 689) has been tabled in support of the campaign.
The campaign is targeted at government to ensure that solar owners are rewarded for the electricity that they generate. This is known as a ‘Feed-in tariff’ (FIT), and when it is introduced by the Government in 2010 it could mean being paid approximately three to four times more for the solar electricity you generate from solar photovoltaics (PV) than you pay for the electricity from your supplier. So, you would be paid both to protect the environment from CO2 emissions and yourself from rising electricity bills. A FIT is encouraging thousands of people to install solar PV on the roofs of homes and businesses across the rest of Europe. The same could happen here from April 2010.
Solar PV has proven to be a very effective way of generating clean electricity in the UK as it relies on daylight not heat, requires little or no maintenance and will generate power for forty years plus. Many new homes are now being built across the country with solar electric roof tiles; a new and innovative way of replacing traditional roof tiles with solar power that can be installed by local roofers with minimal training and are virtually unnoticeable on buildings. Many thousands of new green jobs will be created in the solar power and roofing sectors in Birmingham if the feed-in tariff is set at an effective rate to encourage greater take-up of the technology.
Lynne Jones said: “The Government’s decision to introduce a feed-in tariff for renewable electricity technologies gives us an opportunity to maximise UK jobs, UK innovation and UK investment in solar PV. If we are going to deliver our 2020 renewable energy targets, solar PV will need to be an important part of the mix.”
Robin Webster, Senior Campaigner, Energy and Climate Friends of the Earth said: “Solar PV is an essential ally in the global battle against climate change. But here in the UK, the potential of the technology has not even been recognised. If we’re going to deliver the 2020 renewable energy target, the UK is going to need contributions from all proven technologies including solar PV. We wish the campaign every success.”
Paul King, Chief Executive of the UK Green Building Council, said "alongside other zero and low carbon technologies, solar PV has a key role to play in greening our towns and cities. Effective feed-in tariff rates for solar PV will help to move the technology into the mainstream in the UK.”
For more information, or if you would like to show your support as an individual or business, please see www.wesupportsolar.net
Notes to editors
1/ ‘ We Support Solar’ was established by The UK PV Manufacturers Association, a group set up by Sharp UK, Romag Ltd and Solarcentury. The Association was established in November 2008 to promote
the solar PV manufacturing industry in the UK and to work with Government to help build the UK market for the technology. There are centres of UK PV manufacturing at Wrexham (Sharp UK), County Durham (Romag Ltd) and at Pencoed near Bridgend (Sony/Solarcentury).
2/ EDM 689 states: “That this House welcomes the launch of the We Support Solar campaign; notes that globally solar photovoltaics (PV) will be a key climate change mitigation technology and that solar PV in the UK can play an important role in contributing to the UK 2020 renewable energy target; expresses its concern at the negative treatment of solar photovoltaics in the Government's 2008 renewable energy strategy consultation; and urges Ministers to ensure that the potential of the technology to deliver significant carbon dioxide reductions in the built environment, to make a significant contribution to the 2020 target and to deliver many tens of thousands of new green UK jobs is supported in the final renewable energy strategy document.”