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THURSDAY 19 MARCH, 2009 | RSS Feed

UK Government Ends Solar Power Funding


by Energy Matters

UK solar power
In yet another case of governments underestimating the willingness of citizens to install solar power systems, the UK government has ended a controversial program well ahead of time.

As has been the case in in Spain, Florida and Ontario, Canada in relation to gross feed in tariff systems, the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has found that applications for grid connected solar power projects on public buildings has far exceeded their expectations. 

Half of the 50m funding set aside for the low-carbon buildings program been used up by solar projects within just a few months.

Seen by many as a token effort from the UK government, the program was also meant to encourage the uptake of other renewable energy sources and carbon reduction initiatives.  Critics believe that the other half of the funding will sit mostly unused and should therefore be accessible to solar power projects, and any funding from failed projects should be returned to the pool to and also made available.

Solar industry supporters have also said that the ending of the funding will see the local solar sector experience a gap in government support for over a year, which flies in the face of Gordon Brown's plans of of creating 400,000 green jobs to boost the economy and combat climate change. 

Funding instability for the industry will also discourage investment, leading some to accuse officials of retarding progress towards a low-carbon economy for the UK by remaining too sympathetic to fossil fuel companies.



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