9. What recent representations he has received on his decision to reduce the feed-in tariff for solar PV. (98667)
I met 25 stakeholders when the FITs consultation was launched on 9 February and I intend to meet them again on 27 March. As of 5 March, we have received 18 written responses to the consultation on the solar PV cost control mechanism and six to the consultation on non-PV technologies and scheme administration issues.
I thank the Minister for that answer, but small companies in my constituency are still contacting me about the chaos over the ending of the feed-in tariff scheme and they want to know what the Minister will do to listen to their comments and to work with small businesses as well as some of the larger stakeholders to find the way forward.
The hon. Lady will know that there has been a significant level of deployment—contrary to some of the scare stories and predictions that were circulating before Christmas—in January and February and that continues. We have now put forward a consultation document that is gathering broad support for putting in place a sustainable framework that will result in a bigger scheme that offers better value. As a result, there will be far more PV under our reform proposals than there was under Labour’s very expensive scheme. We are keen to involve small and medium-sized businesses as much as possible.
Earlier this week I was in Berlin with the Select Committee on Science and Technology to look at the energy infrastructure in Germany. Will the Minister confirm that Germany is proposing to cut the feed-in tariff rates to below the UK level with just two weeks’ notice?
My hon. Friend is absolutely right. The German cuts are now going further and faster than those that we are proposing. We think that solar is a very dynamic technology that is up to the challenge. If costs continue to come down and it becomes competitive with fossil fuels by the middle of the decade, as we believe it might, we could see 22 GW of solar capacity installed by 2020.