Mass lobby of Parliament and other news

Newsletter – 4 November 2011

Mass Lobby of Parliament  – 22nd November

We have now fixed a date for a mass lobby of Parliament on Tuesday 22nd November.  It will begin at 2.30pm, and continue through the afternoon until around 5.30pm.  Please get the date in your diary.

This is an opportunity for people across the industry – as well as from environmental groups and other supporters – to meet their MP and protest about the savage cuts to support for solar.  The more people who turn up, the more MPs will get lobbied – and the more our message will be heard.  So please book this day now and encourage anyone else you can to come to London with you.

For those who have never been on a mass lobby before, they are a long established tradition to put pressure on MPs. Technically you are entitled to go and lobby your MP in the House of Commons whenever Parliament is sitting.  You ask to go to the rather grand Central Lobby, and fill in a form known as a “green card” summoning your MP to see you.  A mass lobby simply makes sure this is much more noticeable by all doing it on the same afternoon.

We will be putting much more detail on what you need to do nearer the time at the website here.


Charles Hendry MP vs Jeremy Leggett in East Sussex


Forest Row in East Sussex has a “Home Energy Saving Fair” tomorrow which begins at 11am with a discussion between Energy Minister Charles Hendry MP and Solar Century founder Jeremy Leggett.  Given all that has happened this week, it should be an interesting discussion.

If you can get there, it would be a great chance to put questions to Mr Hendry.

More details here.


Greg Barker MP lobbied in Bexhill


Around 20 local solar employees and members of environmental groups demonstrated outside a Greg Barker’s constituency surgery earlier on Friday afternoon.  Two members of the group were able to meet Mt Barker and delivered a statement from the much wider group outside, asking him to attend a public meeting to hear the concerns from those across his constituency.


Latest news and media coverage

In an interview on the Business Green website, Alan Simspon calls the changes “economically illiterate and ethically fraudulent”.  Alan Simpson is the former MP who led the Parliamentary campaign for Feed-in Tariffs, and is now helping this campaign to stop them being trashed.

Also on Business Green, Seb Berry of Solar Century points out where Greg Barker misled Parliament over solar FITs, and editor James Murray tries to figure out the real reason for the cuts.

In the news today Business and Leadership have covered the cuts to the FIT and the industry’s reaction with reference to the Cut Don’t Kill campaign.

In The Guardian letters this morning Cllr Joel Goldberg of the Haringey, Jon Abbatt of ADAS UK and Dr Brenda Boardman of Oxford University have written in response to the cuts in the tariff.

In a report on Solar Buzz this morning, urgent action is needed to put the solar industry on a steadier, clearer and sustainable growth path, avoid boom and bust and protect the wider Feed-in Tariff scheme (FITs).

The FT Money Show this week featured a segment on solar power and the impact of FIT cuts for consumers, investors and solar businesses. Money journalist at the FT, Elaine Moore, argued that the turnover time for the changes were too quick and that a 50% cut would dramatically decrease the incentive for consumers to install panels on their home.

Plans to install solar panels on 40 schools in Reading have been thrown into chaos following the Government’s announcement to slash the FiT by 12.12 according to the BBC.


More support needed

We still need more support to defend the solar industry from these cuts – both in terms of action, and in terms of money to fund this campaign.

To help you take action, we have prepared an action pack, which is available here. It will help you to lobby your MP, get stories into your local papers and radio stations, ask your customers to lobby on our behalf.  You can also download banners to put on your website, or in your emails to help more supporters find us.

And if you can support the efforts of this campaign financially, please let us know at [email protected]

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  1. Brian John Wright
    Posted November 5, 2011 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    A reduction in the FIT’s amount is certain but over 50% in one go? this government is not thinking straight.
    The FIT reduction amount needs to be reduced gradually and in line with the fall in the prices of the Solar systems and installation costs.
    It would appear that costs of supplying & installing a <4kw domestic Solar PV system has only fallen by about 15% to the customer. So equating this amount to the reduction in the FIT's would be reduction to about 35pence for each Kw generated.
    The Government should probably review the FIT payments every 6 months.Not forgetting though the increase in the RPI!!!.
    Brian John Wright.
    Maidenhead Berks

  2. Posted November 14, 2011 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    It is great that industry leaders and organisations like friends of the earth are putting their weight behind this issue. But I think we must all stay focused –

    The real issue we face is climate change and clean fossil fuel alternatives to combat rising prices and political insecurity. What ever rate or timescale is introduced is only going to alter the situation by weeks or months in terms of money running out of this low low ”budget” –

    The public are currently paying for this at a rate of £1 per house at the moment (if we believe the stats) and heaven for bid but to protect ALL our futures it may cost £25 each in 8-10 years – SO WHAT. I would happily pay £100′s per year to protect our global futures and what will fossil fuel dependancy cost as an alternative.

    Meanwhile as stated – WE the public pay this and the Govt have earned £260 ish million in tax revenue from solar business, whilst in a sagging economy 25,000 people have found jobs and over 100,000 could do by 2015/6 if we try to catch up our international cousins on renewable deployments levels –

    So why oh why oh why, will our ”’green” and business ”friendly” govt not protect all our futures and just raise the ”budget” –

    It is surley the only point on this subject that is worth debating if we are serious about our collective futures (all the other items are only sticking plasters) – we must act on climate change and energy and be prepared to part annually with whatever it takes !!

    RAISE THE BUDGET – or takes the stumps up and push back from a healthy future for ALL our kids (short sighted – politicians included).

  3. Posted November 16, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    If there is no action on the FIT, the current falling costs of PV systems could trigger a complete collapse in the new UK market. Look back to the Spanish situation of 2007.

  4. Mr John Westray
    Posted November 17, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Re; Solar Industry,
    This government is like a bad gardener who dose not know the difference in a flower or a weed.

  5. Dawn Mannay
    Posted November 18, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    I am part of a community group, Futurespace that aims to reduce use of natural resources and combat fuel poverty. Our solar panel project would have offered free solar panels to residents in a marginalised area and the feed in tarif would have supported local community groups. The proposed restrictions for multi fits has not considered the impact on community groups and unless this proposal is reconsidered it will be difficult, if not impossible to offer marginalised communities the opportunity to make use of solar energy and have feed tarifs that can make a real difference to sustaining wider community projects
    Dawn Mannay

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