asked Her Majesty's Government:
Further to the Written Answer by the Minister for Science and Technology, Mr Malcolm Wicks, on 13 December 2006 (Official Report, Commons, col. 1078W), by how much the costs of various microgeneration systems have already fallen; by how much further they are likely to fall before June 2008; whether such falls will equate to the sums of money that have been available through householder funding; and how much the population is to be made aware of the availability and costs of the various systems. [HL1296]
Since the launch of the Clear Skies scheme in 2002, the greatest number of projects have been solar thermal hot water installations. There has been a small increase in the price of solar thermal installations, which is believed to be part of the natural development of the market. However, we would expect prices to fall as the supply base develops. Under the solar PV major demonstration programme, which was launched in 2003, the price per installed capacity of solar panels has fallen on average by 15 per cent.
Under the low-carbon buildings programme (LCBP), launched in April 2006, we have yet to assess the impact of the capital grant programme on the cost of microgeneration systems. Even so, one of the main objectives of the scheme is to drive down costs, and we will be looking to assess the impact on cost over the life of the programme.
As part of the microgeneration strategy that was published in March 2006, we announced that there would be a review of the advice and information for consumers on microgeneration, and this will be carried out in due course.