IKEA backs push by UK solar power industry in letter to Downing St

Solar Trade Association logoA coalition of over 150 businesses from the solar industry is today urging Prime Minister David Cameron of the threat to Britain’s thriving solar industry.

 A letter to Downing Street from business both big and small – including household names such as IKEA – today asks the Prime Minister to back the UK solar industry. Other signatories include Triodos Bank, Ecotricity, KYOCERA, Interface, Good Energy and the Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology at Loughborough University.

The letter was signed by a host of small businesses involved in solar, showing how the industry is made up of over 2,000 small and medium sized businesses who support 16,000 jobs.

The letter comes on the day the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) closes its consultation [1] on proposed changes to support for solar power. The proposals are already having a damaging effect on parts of the solar industry.

The letter highlights the critical importance of commercial and industrial roofs, as well as solar farms, in delivering low-cost solar. It urges the PM to secure the UK industry with an eye on the £78 billion per annum global solar market anticipated in 2020.

The signatories underline the very positive benefits that solar parity will deliver for UK businesses including improving international competitiveness, lower energy price inflation and improved electricity sector competition.

Despite the vision set out in DECC’s own Solar PV Strategy [2] of solar booming across large roofs, the Solar Trade Association, which sent the letter, say that the current policy framework is not enabling this to happen. The STA also argues that the DECC consultation which closes today on Feed-In Tariffs [3], a support scheme essential to the success of roof-top schemes, doesn’t address the policy failure on mid-large solar roofs.

Jeremy Leggett – who is Chair of SolarAid and Non-executive Chairman of SolarCentury and who will also be handing the letter over to Downing Street on behalf of the signatories – said: “Despite all of the incredible achievements of the UK solar industry since 2010, it’s still very clear that the Whitehall mindset has yet to catch up.”

 “It’s time that the government woke up to the fact that, with stable support, jobs rich UK solar will be cheaper than onshore wind during the next Parliament, opening up immense opportunities for UK PLC and driving down the costs of delivering the 2020 renewable energy target in the process.”

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