Labour MP and solar proponent Huw Irranca-Davies has been elected to chair the environmental audit committee in a secret ballot yesterday, while SNP minister Angus Brendan MacNeil will chair the energy and climate change (ECC) committee.
Irranca-Davies’ election will provide a boost for the country’s solar industry as Irranca-Davies is known as a huge proponent of the technology, having championed it during his time as shadow energy minister.
He led the Labour campaign to protect the solar feed-in tariff in 2011 after the Conservatives announced plans to cut the FiT for all installation over 50kW, claiming at the time that then climate minister Greg Barker was “butchering” the scheme.
Irranca-Davies has also been a critic of the UK’s energy market, claiming it to be “broken” in 2013 after two of the big-six energy firms chose to raise prices.
Meanwhile MacNeil said he was looking forward to “scrutinise the work of the Department of Energy and Climate Change” as soon as the other members of the committee are elected.
With DECC having today announced its intention to cut onshore wind subsidies a year earlier than scheduled and the SNP having previously pledged to fight the Conservatives over planned subsidy cuts, the work of the SNP-led select committee is sure to make for interesting viewing.