Monday, December 26, 2011

Church concern for future of community solar power

The Church of England and National Trust have expressed concern over the impact of policy changes on community solar power schemes.

They are opposed to Government proposals to halve the feed-in tariff (FiT), which lets households and community buildings earn a subsidy for the energy they produce.

The Government wants to reduce the subsidy from 43.3p to 21p per kilowatt-hour for households registered after December 12 and systems installed after 1 April 2012.

The High Court ruled last week that the changes were “legally flawed” as they affected households registered before the consultation had come to an end.

The Church of England and National Trust believe a reduction in tariff would hamper the expansion of green energy at the community level.

In a letter to Climate Change Minister Greg Barker, they point to Germany’s success in increasing the use of solar panels.

“Twenty years of solid support has led to 18% of [Germany’s] national energy supply now coming from renewable sources, with 45% of schemes owned by co-operatives and farmers. In the UK, this is just 1.5%,” they say.
David Shreeve, environmental adviser to the CofE’s Archbishops’ Council told the BBC: “The chances could affect the financial implications for churches going ahead.”