Adding to the mounting response to the recently announced feed-in tariff review, We Support Solar has launched a new campaign calling for the Government to raise its solar ambitions. The new initiative, ‘Save our solar’ highlights the importance of protecting the UK’s solar industry, with the aim of raising awareness of the limited support for solar power in Government. 

We Support Solar hopes to reach out to the UK Government by drawing comparisons with more advanced economies who are already benefitting from solar PV, such as Germany. The campaign will also fully explain the damage that has already been caused to the industry, and will continue, should the feed-in tariff be cut. The group, which currently benefits from thousands of supporters across the UK, illustrates solar as a leatherback turtle with solar photovoltaic shell.  Prompted by the Government’s shock immediate review of solar photovoltaic feed-in tariffs for business-and community-scale solar; the campaign calls for three things from Secretary of State Chris Huhne:-         

  • Raise the UK’s solar ambitions to match those of other big EU economies,       
  • Leave the solar feed-in tariff alone for households and communities until April 2012,          
  • Back community-owned renewables, as the Coalition promised.

We Support solar has collected over 300 signatories on its current letter to Chris Huhne MP, including support from the Federation of Master Builders, the Micropower Council, NFU, Friends of the Earth, Solar Power Portal and the National Federation of Roofing Contractors. The campaign has also received backing from politicians including Huw Irranca-Davies MP, who spoke out at the recent ecobuild event, Shadow Energy Minister, Caroline Lucas MP, leader of the Green Party; and John Hemming MP, Chairman All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil and Gas.

Huw Irranca-Davies MP, Shadow Energy Minister said, “The “We Support Solar” Campaign shows the widespread concern and anger over Chris Huhne’s rash decision to bring forward an early review of the feed-in tariffs.  The government must take notice, and act now to protect the recent growth in green solar jobs, restore investor certainty, and deliver solar energy benefits for individual householders, community schemes and our overall carbon reduction commitments.”

 Caroline Lucas MP, Leader of the Green Party said, “With its ill-advised plan to review solar feed-in tariffs, the Government is creating uncertainty in one of the few industries to have generated thousands of much-needed new green jobs. The We Support Solar campaign is crucial to putting pressure on the Government to show more clarity and consistency in its approach to the renewables sector – and give solar energy the support it needs to thrive.”

 Brian Berry Director of External Affairs at the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) said, “The Federation of Master Builders backs ‘We Support Solar’, because solar has the potential to create much needed jobs in the building industry. As many as 100,000 so called ‘green collar’ solar jobs could be created by a feed-in Tariff encompassed in a truly green strategy. This would benefit both building owners by helping to create more energy efficient buildings and builders by the creation of much needed new jobs.  If the Government is really serious about its commitment to being the ‘greenest ever’ then it needs to raise the its solar ambitions to at least match those of other major EU countries.”

Ray Horwood CBE, Chairman, National Federation of Roofing Contractors said, “The National Federation of Roofing Contractors fully supports the need raise the UK's solar ambitions. The time has come for roofs to be active parts of a building to provide a viable solution to support a generation of new jobs for roofers who are eager to become involved in the emerging green economy. A commitment to the feed-in tariff for solar will help tackle the triple challenge of credit, energy and climate.”

To read the letter to Chris Huhne, and to add your signature, click here.