I am very concerned about the Government’s proposal to cut support for Feed-In Tariffs (FITs), which will see the standard FIT reduced from 12.47p/kWh (the rate that has taken effect from 1 October 2015) to 1.63p/kWh from 1 January 2016. This is an 87% reduction in the rate for small installations. It is also 96% lower than the original tariff of 43p/kWh established by the previous Labour Government when the FIT scheme came into operation in April 2010.

I support the development of renewable power generation and I am proud of the previous Labour Government’s strong record in this area. The previous Labour Government doubled the UK’s renewable energy capacity and introduced the Feed-in Tariff scheme to incentivise and reward people for investing in low carbon, renewable energy. The scheme has been very successful. Indeed, the current Government state that 700,000 installations registered for the scheme during its first five years up to April 2015.

Despite promising to unleash a solar revolution, the current Government has undermined solar energy, which is one of the cheapest forms of clean energy. The UK has fallen behind France, India and Japan in terms of renewable energy investment attractiveness.

I am also concerned that the inevitable uncertainty across the renewables sector will undermine the UK’s ability to meet its climate change commitments, and that by hampering the development of cheap forms of clean energy, consumer bills will rise rather than fall.

I have tabled a number of written questions to the Department for Energy and Climate Change on this and related issues, which you can view along with the answers I received here.

Before I was elected, my campaign slogan was ‘Jobs, Equality and Sustainability’. Tackling climate change and supporting renewable energy are such priorities for me because in doing so we can engage these goals in unison. I will continue to press the Government to rethink its approach to solar.

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