Sunday, 19 September 2010

What! The "Greenest Government Ever" breaks a promise

The Roman God Janus. Apt in so many ways to this article.
When the Feed In Tarrif was introduced in April this gave a much needed boost to the microgeneration sector particularly those installing solar photovoltaic panels. One disappointment however was that only installations fitted after July 15th 2009 would qualify. So all those pioneers who had helped keep the industry alive before the tarrif was announced would receive only 9p/kWh while those new installers would get 43.1p kWh. The Conservatives prior to election promised to include all microgenerators in the tarrif. Rather than me repeat the sorry tale in detail heres a link to the excellent Yougen blog which details it.
I guess from this blogs point of view I should detail how this will affect Kirklees. Well, we have been installing solar panels on Council houses and council buildings all through the noughties mainly funded through the Renewable Energy Fund established by the Green Party. Chris Huhne Lib Dem DECC Minister's decision is therefore disappointing to say the least. It doesn't stop us moving forward with existing schemes but it can hardly be regarded as 'fair' - the touchstone word of this government.

The really irritating thing is that it would have cost very little. It could have beeen limited to microgeneration installations fitted under government supported programmes. This should have been a fairly manageable number. As the Feed In Tarrif is funded through utilities it would not have affected public sector budgets.. The impact on the populations fuel bills would have been hardly noticeable and it would have helped hundreds of households in Kirklees Council housing on the very lowest incomes have a few hundred more pounds in their pockets. It would have been a small step towards a fairer and greener society but sadly not to be.

The next key date is October 20th when the Spending Review reveals what the GGE 'Greenest Government Ever' is going to make of the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive. There are also concerns about how it will treat the existing Feed In Tariff. Lets see what happens. I promise to say something nice about the Coalition Government at the next opportunity. May it be soon.

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