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Solar Power

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment his Department has made of the UK's capacity to build integrated solar photovoltaics; and if he will make a statement. (228368)

The Department has committed over £41 million to support the photovoltaic industry since 2000 through the Major Demonstration PV programme and field trials. The photovoltaic industry currently benefits from the £86 million Low Carbon Buildings programme and electricity generated is also eligible for support under the Renewables Obligation (RO). In addition, there are wider measures supporting development of Solar PV including grants for R&D through the Technology Programme and the Microgeneration Certification Scheme which sets out product and installation standards for solar PV at the smaller scale. As a result of these programmes and wider measures the UK Solar PV industry has developed strengths in the design and manufacture of building integrated products.

We recently announced that we will implement a feed-in tariff for small-scale generation up to 3 MW alongside the Renewables Obligation for large-scale projects.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department is taking to increase levels of investment in UK solar photovoltaic manufacturing. (228488)

As part of the Manufacturing Strategy the Government announced their intention to create an Office of Renewable Energy Deployment. This Office will help deliver the necessary step-change in the deployment of renewable energy in the UK to meet the 2020 target. It will provide a one-stop shop for dealing with the range of delivery issues, including supply chain, planning, grid and other matters, across the range of deployable renewable energy technologies. It will also help to raise the domestic and global profile of manufacturing companies in the supply chain and identify potential opportunities working with the Manufacturing Advisory Service.

The Manufacturing Strategy contained other measures which include plans for the Government to work with the CBI and others to develop a Low Carbon Showcase to promote low carbon products to a global marketplace. The Government will come forward in 2009 with a Low Carbon Industrial Strategy that will look at how business can adapt and make the most from the growth in the low carbon economy and what the Government's role should be.