DECC – SOLAR POWER – 23 November 2011

Dr Julian Lewis: I have been lobbied by a constituent, Jeremy Anson, who works for a photovoltaic providing company. He fully accepts the need for a substantial reduction, but says that while the industry could cope with a reduction of 30%, he would struggle with 50%. We wonder whether a phased or gradual reduction would be possible, given that the number of orders received by his firm has fallen from a average of 15 a month to zero after 12 December.

[The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (Chris Huhne): I shall explain what we are trying to do later in my speech, but let me reassure my hon. Friend that the returns that the new scheme will provide – if, indeed, we proceed with it following what is a genuine consultation – will be very similar to the returns that were originally intended when the scheme was announced by the Leader of the Opposition in April 2010. As with some of the Opposition's other achievements, the intention was right but the execution was definitely not, so it falls to this Government to attempt to clear up the mess.

We want to secure the continued success of feed-in tariffs through sustainable growth, rather than boom and bust. That is why we are consulting on new tariffs for solar PV installations. ...]