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Solar Photovoltaic Systems

Volume 609: debated on Thursday 12 May 2016

13. What assessment she has made of trends in the level of take-up of domestic solar photovoltaic systems since the relaunch of the feed-in tariff in February 2016. (905002)

In the first quarter of our new, more sustainable cost control regime under FITs, six out of 11 deployment caps were reached, including the two largest of the four solar caps. Take-up of domestic solar photovoltaic systems is strong but still within the cap. We estimate that FITs will support over 178,000 new solar PV installations at domestic scale by 2018-19.

Domestic solar installers in my constituency report that demand for their services has plummeted over the past year, and domestic solar installations across the country are down 80% on this time last year. Will the Minister now acknowledge that the new tariff is too low and that the disastrous approach that this Government are taking to solar energy is effectively stopping individuals who want to make a contribution to combating climate change in their own homes by installing solar panels from doing so?

No, I do not recognise what the hon. Lady says. Solar deployment in this country has been amazing, and far in excess of all our expectations. Some 99% of solar installations have taken place since 2010—under this Government and the previous Government, not under the Labour Government. It has been a huge success story. As I have said, our subsidy regime takes into account the interest for the consumer who has to pay it and the developer who is continuing to build. Some of the caps have already been met and others are performing strongly.