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Feed-in Tariffs

Volume 533: debated on Wednesday 12 October 2011

7. If she will assess the effects of changes to the feed-in tariff scheme on the solar industry in Wales. (72890)

We will consult on proposed changes to the feed-in tariff scheme, and will produce an impact assessment setting out the effects across the UK in the autumn. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I have spoken to a number of businesses across the UK and understand their concerns in this regard.

Labour’s feed-in tariff created 300 jobs in my constituency. The Tories have increased unemployment in Wrexham in the past six months by 12.6%. Why are they reversing the successful Labour policy that is creating private sector jobs, when they are supposed to be favouring jobs and growth?

I agree with the hon. Gentleman that Sharp is an extremely important employer in his constituency. He will be aware that the feed-in tariff scheme favoured large-scale solar farms, not the domestic installations, but I hope—indeed, I am sure—that he will welcome the announcement last month that Sharp has secured a multi-million-pound contract with Wrexham county borough council to install solar panels in 3,000 local authority homes.

The solar technology industry is just one of the growing green technology industries that could be vital to boosting job creation in Wales. Does the Minister agree that strong Government support for those industries will not put the country out of business, but will stimulate investment in this area and help the Welsh economy to recover?

My hon. Friend is entirely right. This Government are committed to pursuing the growth of green industries in the United Kingdom. [Interruption.]

Order. It is still far too noisy. I know the House will be united in wanting to hear Mr Peter Bone.