UK solar chief ‘concerned’ at Prime Minister’s incorrect statement

The head of external affairs at the UK’s Solar Trade Association says her organisation is concerned about information Prime Minister David Cameron delivered at the House of Commons Liaison Committee this week.

Mr Cameron was responding to questioning of the government’s recent record in promoting renewable energy and Leonie Greene told Power Engineering International that his assertions on solar power in the UK were misleading.
David Cameron Leonie Greene
“Cameron seemed to claim that investment in solar will be doubled this parliament. That is obviously not correct and we are concerned as to whether or not he understands the detail of what is happening to solar.”

“The claim is that investment in renewables is doubling – but that is rather misleading – they are effectively spending the same again under the Levy control Framework and counting continued expenditure under support for schemes initiated under previous governments.”

Ms Greene told PEi that there has been a 90 per cent drop in support for solar year on year.

“That’s obviously very serious and his comments suggest that he may not understand the level of support withdrawal for new solar. It’s all rather been left on a knife edge in the UK, though we’re obviously doing our best to secure a better investment case.”

She added that the government’s own analysis suggests more than half the jobs in solar under Feed in Tariffs could be lost.

“This is not about support keeping track with cost reductions – changes go far deeper than that sadly.”

Mr Cameron had told the committee that allegations that the government had fallen down the league in terms of renewables were ‘total and utter nonsense’.

“98 per cent of solar panels installed in the UK have been installed since I became prime minister,” he said.

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