Saturday, 13 July 2024

Renewable energy are we serious?
In a Q&A interview on renewable energy we discussed the value and prospects of developing renewable energy. If we are serious about reducing our dependency upon fossil fuels, let alone nuclear, we have to invest in renewables. Solar power costs are largely ‘upfront’ because of the capital investment (and company profitability). Government has to walk the walk instead of trying to get PR benefits from saying the right thing without commitment.

In response to the shock announcement that the Government is to slash its subsidy for installing solar power, our Energy Policy Advisor, businessman Pramjit Sadra of Viking Renewables, shares with us his views

We as a company were aware of this pending change but thought that it would come into effect in April 2012. The loser as always seems to be the consumer.

David Cameron recently had a meeting with the Big Six energy suppliers only to emerge from that get together with the ‘ground breaking’ suggestion we all look to switch supplier with a comparable tariff, presumably one of the six?! I find strange that this particular announcement has been made so soon after that meeting which was set up to discuss the hike in energy prices. One wonders what was discussed? (the NLP would beef up the energy (and other) watchdogs to ‘cap’ or reduce prices-Ed)

It seems that the Government have shot themselves in the foot somewhat with this whole scheme as the reason given for the reduction in tariff is due to installers charging such high prices. This is ignoring however the reduction of the price of panels and other components falling recently. However the fall has been due in part to a higher demand so there are more companies manufacturing, more companies selling and installing.

The Government accredited MCS certification, that is needed by companies to install the systems, should have been aware of the prices these unscrupulous companies were charging (I read a report only last month that a 5 or 6 panel system being sold for just over £19,000). If they were concerned (and I am) and wanted to stop this practice of ‘overcharging’ why did they simply not revoke the MCS certificate? In this way they could have continued with the same level of tariff and thus allow ordinary people to help combat their rising energy bills.

There was talk within Government circles regarding a Green Fund which would be available to each household to spend but unfortunately this has not been put in place and it has not been clarified as to what will be covered by the fund. Obviously we are hoping that renewable energy will/would fall within it (Such a fund could also implement our policy of ensuring all new homes have solar power installed – Ed).

That all said, even with the lower tariff this system (solar panelling) will work but we as consumers will have to be very aware of the prices we are paying for our system!

Pramjit Sadra – NLP Policy Advisor (Energy)

(If you are concerned about the reduction of this subsidy and the stranglehold that the Big Six energy suppliers have on our energy please sign the Friends of the Earth petition at

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