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The solar industry needs to think carefully about its response to the rumour of a sharp reduction in the Feed in Tariff

The solar industry needs to think carefully about its response to the rumour of a sharp reduction in the Feed in Tariff

The story about the little boy crying wolf is one those who speak for the solar industry may wish to consider.

Once again, and without any real hard evidence, the industry is getting in a proper bate about rumours and leaks from the DECC about a sharp reduction in the Feed in Tariff.

We’ve been here before and even the staunchest advocates of renewable energy have become a little sceptical about the sensational bleating from the solar world. Take this piece in todays Grauniad reporting the Solar Trades Association’s response to the leaks and particularly this passage

Notably at that time, the industry warned the move would “kill the UK solar industry stone dead” and yet it has not only endured but thrived.

This time the industry should think carefully about its response. A mature commentary, pointing out that this means that solar is maturing as a mainstream energy source and is well on the way to becoming viable without any subsidy would do more for public perception of solar energy that any amout of self-interested whining about the withdrawal of subsidies.  

We live in a world which is very different to the one we inhabited when Milliband E. introduced the FiTs in 2010. Large sections of the population are getting used to having to exist without state handouts and our industry should be no different. Yes, life without FiTs would be tough and we doubt that DECC would abolish them completely, immediately.  

We sell something that everyone needs - electricity - and we will need more of it as more people switch to electric cars. And because successive governments have been spectacularly useless when it comes to building new generation capacity and because battery technology is going to make going off grid a reality,  the ability to generate, own and store your own electricity will become ever more attractive. We’re in it for the long term and if the only way for a solar panel company to survive is to be permanently sucking at the teat of public subsidy then it is no business at all.

You can read more at The Guardian.

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