Campaign launched opposing UK plans to cut financial support for small-scale renewables

27 September 2015 (Last Updated September 27th, 2015 18:30)

RenewableUK and the Solar Trade Association have initiated a joint campaign urging the UK Government to rethink its decision to reduce financial support for small-scale renewables, such as wind turbines and solar panels.

RenewableUK and the Solar Trade Association have initiated a joint campaign urging the UK Government to rethink its decision to reduce financial support for small-scale renewables, such as wind turbines and solar panels.

Titled ‘People Power’, the campaign has called for members of the public, as well as the thousands of renewable energy employees, to petition the UK Government to provide steady support to the maturing sectors.

The petition is a response to government consultation published in August, which proposed incentive cuts for solar photovoltaic, wind and hydropower through the feed-in tariff scheme from January 2016. It is expected to be organised through social media and by writing to local Members of Parliament.

Proposed plans may result in substantial job losses across the renewable energy sector, as it would deprive several local communities of the financial support they receive for clean power generation from suppliers.

This could cause multiple green energy projects to shutdown, thereby making domestic electricity inaccessible for ordinary households, farmers and small businesses.

"Don’t wreck an industry, which for the first time has given people the power to control their own energy supply."

RenewableUK consents and intelligence policy director Gemma Grimes said: "This campaign is about sending a simple message to government: don’t wreck an industry, which for the first time has given people the power to control their own energy supply.

"Small-scale renewables is an extraordinary success in the UK, creating thousands of new green jobs and allowing local communities to generate their own clean energy.

"The feed-in tariff provides a lifeline to the rural economy, allowing farmers and small businesses to diversify their income and save on their electricity bills, especially during tough economic times. The government’s actions are in danger of consigning this great work to the past."

Solar Trade Association External Affairs head Leonie Greene said: "Poll after poll shows the great majority of the public strongly supports local renewable energy.

"Yet government proposals for feed-in tariffs are extreme and they will stop families and communities from investing locally in clean energy all over the UK.

"The Action for Renewables website makes it easy for people to contact their MP and urge them to fight these proposals and protect people power."

In contrast to the UK proposal, Scotland has decided to retain Renewables Obligation (RO) guarantees for solar investments in the country.