Commenting on the news today (31 October 2011) that the UK Government plans to cut incentives for household solar electricity production, Friends of the Earth Scotland’s chief executive, Stan Blackley, said:

“Across the UK as a whole, these incentives have helped create 80,000 new solar installations and 22,000 new jobs over the last two years. This in turn has helped many thousands of households to reduce their electricity bills, reduce their carbon emissions, and generate additional income by selling excess electricity produced back to the grid.

“This news has cast a giant grey cloud over many peoples’ solar future. Cutting incentives now is crazy when they’ve been so successful and could continue to be so, and it risks our ambitions to move towards a low carbon Scotland.

“Domestic and community scale energy generation can help ensure energy security, and feed-in-tariffs are an important incentive to get such schemes going, especially in areas of Scotland without access to the gas grid or mains electricity. The UK and Scottish governments should encourage people and businesses to switch to clean energy and start making their own electricity wherever and however possible, instead of being in the pocket of the big six energy firms who continue to rely on fossil fuel generation and rip off consumers with ever high bills.”

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact: Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland t: 0131 243 2719 e: pfischer@foe-scotland.org.uk

Notes to Editors

1. The feed-in tariff scheme pays households, businesses, councils, hospitals and schools to create clean power through systems like solar panels. It has been hugely successful to date, with the creation of 80,000 new solar installations and 22,000 new jobs over the last two years.
www.bit.ly/v3kcXa

2. Friends of the Earth Scotland is * Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation * An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland * Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups – covering every continent.
www.foe-scotland.org.uk