Govt policy has appeared some what confused in recent weeks so it is reassuring to hear this exchange during Parliamentary questions. But please govt lets follow the UK situation and nurture this great renewable industry so we can catch up some of our international companions. Renewable energy we know can deliver the much required energy revolution and in a time scale required, yesterday Jonathan Porritt made this clear point that the recent nuclear announcements could not be delivered until next decade. As for cost - renewable energy already attracts subsidy at a far lower level than it's fossil fuel cousins (all be they literally rather black sheep's of the family) at global $66b compared to Fossil at $406b.
Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker has once again publicly declared his desire to see the UK solar market reach 22GW by 2020.
However, he said the target was aspirational and would depend on the solar industry's ability to continue driving down costs.
During parliamentary questions, Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint called on Barker to include his 22GW solar ambition in the upcoming renewables energy road map, stating: “As installations flat line, Ministers have clung to the line that their plans will allow 4 million homes to be solar powered, with 22GW of solar to be installed by 2020.
“Will the plan for 22GW, which was announced in April, still be the government’s policy when they publish their renewable road map, or does he now accept that, because of his cuts, Britain will not reach that target for at least another 30 years?”
Barker responded: “What we said about deployment rates is that we have the potential to deploy 22GW if we can continue to drive down the cost of solar.”
The Minister continued: “22GW is certainly our ambition, but in order to meet that ambition we need not just deployment, but deployment at a level that the country can afford. That is what we are about on the government benches—delivering renewables at a rate that the country can afford and that delivers good value to consumers, as opposed to the open handed, open cheque book, high-cost model deployed under the Labour Party.”
Following the questions at Parliament, Barker took to social media site Twitter to state:
Reaffirmed at Questions commitment to massive expansion of solar but success depends on driving to grid parity this decade #Partnership
Yes Greg - Grid parity (on a level playing field) but within a decade which means consistent and non ambivalent support now and for several years.