Governments says it’s “thinking through” solar

Climate change minister Nick Hurd says that the government is “thinking through” ways to drive established renewable technologies such as solar towards subsidy-free deployment.

This week Climate Change Minister Nick Hurd provided evidence to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy select committee on a wide-range of environmental topics including the Government’s planned support frameworks for various technologies including Solar.

The minister described the cost reductions as “phenomenal” in solar PV, but he also insisted that subsidy support could not continue in its previous forms. “The needle has swung very far in quite a short amount of time and that has come at a cost,” he said. He did recognise, although it comes with little consolation, that the subsidy cuts proposed in the summer of 2015 had “caused some pain, some uncertainty”. But he said the Government was now working towards “the next stage”, which would involve moving from “subsidy-based deployment to a subsidy-free basis in competitive markets”.

The Government’s forthcoming carbon plan is expected to set out policies which will help the UK decarbonise sectors of the economy in line with levels set out in the fifth carbon budget, a policy which the minister labelled  as “very ambitious.”

Like many of his predecessors he alluded to the fact that the heat and transport sectors posed the biggest challenges in terms of decarbonisation while the power sector had “overperformed”. This perhaps suggests that the carbon plan will focus primarily on boosting decarbonisation of the two former sectors.






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