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Campaign launches to urge government to rethink small-scale renewables

Words: Laura Edgar

A campaign opposing government plans to cut financial support to small-scale wind and solar projects has been started.

People Power - launched by RenewableUK, the trade association representing wind, wave and tidal energies, and the Solar Trade Association - is calling for members of the public and renewable energy employees to petition the government to provide more stable support to renewable sectors by writing to their local MP.

It also encourages harnessing the power of social media.

The campaign’s launch follows government announcements of cuts in financial support for local communities that generate clean power and the removal of the Renewable Obligation for both wind and solar projects. A consultation is also being held on the Feed-in Tariff.

If the changes go ahead, a number of “huge” renewable energy projects will not happen, says RenewableUK, and “home-grown electricity will be out of reach to ordinary households, farmers and small businesses”.

Gemma Grimes, director of policy on consents and intelligence at RenewableUK, said the campaign is about sending a “simple message” to the government - “Don’t wreck an industry, which for the first time has given people the power to control their own energy supply”.

Grimes went on to say that the Feed-in Tariff provides a “lifeline to the rural economy” as it allows farmers and small business to “diversify their income and save on their electricity bills, especially during tough economic time”.

“The government’s actions are in danger of consigning this great work to the past,” she concluded.

Leonie Greene, head of external affairs at the Solar Trade Association, said polls suggest that the “great majority” of the public supports local renewable energy, “yet government proposals for Feed-In Tariffs are extreme and they will stop families and communities from investing locally in clean energy all over the UK".

“To prevent this happening it is vital that people make their voice heard in Parliament right now.”

For more information, please visit Action for Renewables.