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Backing solar power is clearly in Treasury’s interest, says industry 

 

Solar Energy UK
Immediate release
08 September 2022 

The announcement of a new ‘price guarantee’ for energy by Prime Minister Liz Truss will put the taxpayer on the hook for billions of pounds over the next two years, mainly destined for the fossil fuel sector. 

The measure, intended to shelter the country from the vastly inflated cost of natural gas, means that it is now even clearer that the swift decarbonisation of electricity supplies is in the national economic interest. The solar power industry stands ready to work towards that aim as soon as possible. 

“The economics of rooftop solar have never been better – and we have the evidence to prove it,” said Solar Energy UK Chief Executive Chris Hewett. “But while they drive down the cost of energy for homes and businesses, the UK is in dire need of new solar farms to provide cheap, green, secure power for all of us.” 

The energy price crisis has driven a dramatic upswing in solar power installations.[1] 

As Solar Energy UK confirmed earlier this week, the association and some of our largest member companies are backing proposals that would cut consumer bills and reduce exposure to volatile gas prices.[2] These include schemes such as new fixed price contracts for older sources of renewable power. The solar sector is keen to play its part in alleviating the cost-of-living crisis. 

The association welcomes Truss’s desire to make the UK a net energy exporter by 2040 to support further expansion. The Prime Minister has pledged to “speed up our deployment of all clean and renewable technologies”, including solar. 

The statement offers some reassurance to the industry after she dismissed the development of solar farms during a campaign debate. However, it is far less specific than measures being announced to speed up oil and gas exploration. 

Solar Energy UK cautions that expanding fossil fuel production will have no impact on consumer bills and be no panacea for the country’s economic woes and conflicts with the government’s climate commitments. 

We look forward to engaging with the review of net zero by Chris Skidmore MP, chair of the Conservatives’ parliamentary Net Zero Support Group. 

[1] https://solarenergyuk.org/news/energy-price-crisis-drives-massive-growth-in-uk-solar-power/ 

[2] https://solarenergyuk.org/news/solar-industry-backs-plan-to-cut-power-bills/ 

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Editor’s notes: 

For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Gareth Simkins, Senior Communications Adviser

[email protected]

[email protected] | solarenergyuk.org