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PM defends solar subsidy cuts

David Cameron has responded to Solar Trade Association’s letter asking for more support from the government to deliver subsidy-free solar in the UK.

The letter sent on Monday 7 July urged Cameron to back the UK’s emergent solar power industry and take into account the industry’s responses to the Government’s consultations on changes to financial support for solar PV, which closed that day.

Cameron replied: “It is clear from the rapid deployment of solar photovoltaics (PV) in the UK over the last four years, that it has the potential to play a valuable part of the UK’s renewable energy mix. Solar PV remains one of the priority renewable energy technologies set out in the Government’s Renewables Energy Roadmap and its subsequent updates.”

However, Cameron added that it is essential to maintain strict control over the impact on consumer bills. He said the Government takes potential risks to the Levy Control Framework (LCF) very seriously. “Large-scale solar PV, under the Renewables Obligation (RO), is deploying much faster than previously expected, and we are concerned about the impact this could have on the LCF,’ the PM added.

When presenting its case, STA said thousands of UK businesses have already invested in onsite solar power in order to reduce their climate impact and to benefit directly from more stable energy costs. They added that the potential for further employment, innovation and growth across the industry is exceptional.

The PM, however, said the Government has proposed closing the RO to large-scale solar developments from the end of March next year. He wrote: “We believe that the Contracts for Difference (CfD) being introduced under Energy Market Reforms will provide a viable route to market for larger scale solar PV going forward.”

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