The solar industry is an amazing UK success story, with 99% of all solar panel installations taking place since 2010. We are determined to keep supporting this great industry, but we are also mindful of the need to keep costs down for consumers, so with our feed-in tariff review we have tried to find the right balance between the needs of the bill payer and those of industry. We project that the revised FIT scheme could support up to 220,000 brand new solar installations between now and 2019.
A reduction in the solar feed-in tariff was probably inevitable given the falling commodity prices, but many of us want to see a thriving solar industry in the UK. Although it is early days, what assessment has been made of the impact of the 63.5% reduction on jobs and prosperity in the UK solar industry?
I know that my hon. Friend has big constituency interests in the success of this industry. I can reassure him that our tariff reset was built on a huge data set submitted by industry and, in terms of domestic rates of return, nearly 5% will still be offered for well-sited projects. After our announcement, the Solar Trade Association said:
“The new tariff levels are challenging, but solar power will still remain a great investment for forward-thinking home owners”.
14. The Scottish Government have led the way, setting ambitious building standards for every new build home, the Glasgow Commonwealth village being a prime example. Does the Minister agree that our goal should be for every suitable home to be equipped with solar PV? (903603)
I agree with the hon. Gentleman up to a point. What is essential for the UK right now is that new homes get built. That is our absolute priority; people are in desperate need of more homes being built. I can assure him that since April 2014 builders have had to consider the use of renewables in all their designs, and I am pleased that during the previous Parliament the energy standard for new buildings was improved by 30%.