Britain's solar energy boom is built on unsustainable foundations

by Minister of State Greg Barker, UK Department of Energy & Climate Change You can't miss Britain's solar energy boom. Solar panels generating electricity adorn tens of thousands of British homes, providing clean green energy. But the uncomfortable truth is that, with overgenerous subsidies failing to keep pace with plummeting costs, this boom has been built on unsustainable foundations. That is why we are proposing timely measures to reform the feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme and ensure this vital green industry has a long-term future. It's easy to see why solar is so attractive: it's simple, accessible, reliable and fits discreetly into homes and communities. It's a vital component of our decentralised local energy revolution. But however convinced we may be of the long-term potential of solar, we have to face up to the economic reality that every other sector of the economy is challenged by. The green economy does not exist in a bubble. The huge subsidised returns for people investing in solar photovoltaic panels – funded from everybody's energy bills – have now broken double figures and cannot continue. The good news is that the costs of the technology have plunged – by at least 30% – since the scheme started in April 2010. A home installation can now cost around £9,000 or less. A similar installation would have set you back an extra £4,000 less than two years ago. With installed capacity nearly three times that projected by the last government when it launched the scheme 18 months ago, it all means that solar is burning through its budget at an unsustainable rate. The generous pot of £867m secured for the feed-in tariff scheme by the coalition last year will be completely devoured if we don't act now ...Zum vollständigen Artikel


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