It was not too long ago that the Liberal Democrats in the Lords led a vote in defence of feed in tariffs, a policy introduced by the Lib Dems in the last Government to boost a burgeoning solar industry.
Now the Tory assault has got personal, they have moved their focus on to people’s homes, attacking the small scale roof top solar panels that dot our residential landscape.
We have sadly lost the battle against the extraordinarily steep and abrupt removal of the feed-in tariffs for solar, wind and hydro. We have desperately tried to get this government to understand not only the seriousness of this in terms of moving towards a low carbon future that allows us to meet our legally binding targets, but also the depth to which investor confidence has been undermined in the renewable sector and the long term, negative impact on the economy that this has caused.
It is deeply saddening to see so much of the good work achieved by the Coalition Government, unravelled by the current Government. What is clear is that this work, which saw the tripling of electricity from renewable sources and made Britain the fastest growing green economy in Europe, was led by one side of the Coalition, the Liberal Democrats, and not embraced by the other. The Conservative Government’s actions since May 2015 demonstrate that there is no genuine commitment to the green agenda from their part, at all.
The Tory dislike of the renewable energy sector is very strange because it has all the attributes which normally results in George Osborne grabbing a high vis vest, summoning a photographer and posing slightly awkwardly. Infrastructure investment. Job creation. Long-term plans. Locations in northern England. Even opportunities for deals with China (a supplier these days of much renewable equipment.)