Renewable Energy

Trade and Industry written question – answered on 7th December 2004.

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Photo of Mr David Stewart Mr David Stewart PPS (Rt Hon Alistair Darling, Secretary of State), Department for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent assessment she has made of the future of photovoltaic (PV) technology within the UK energy market; and what plans she has to promote the use of PV technology.

Photo of Mike O'Brien Mike O'Brien Minister of State (Energy & e-Commerce), Department of Trade and Industry

holding answer 2 December 2004

We have already funded PV installations to the tune of £25 million through our Major PV demonstration programme and £10 million through the Large Scale and Domestic Field Trials. We have seen a number of successes from the programme such as a growing number of renewable installations at a variety of scales. The installer base increasing significantly costs reducing and recent investments in manufacturing capacity in solar power in the UK.

The Government have listened to the calls for an extension of the Photovoltaics Major Demonstration Programme to give sufficient time for the development of a Low Carbon Buildings Programme (as recommended in the Renewables Innovation Review: February 2004). The Government have acted on these calls and my Department announced on 15 September a further £6 million for the PV Major Demonstration programme to enable the programme to be extended for a further year.

The DTI has also put effort into removing a number of barriers to the deployment of very small generators such as PV. These include reduction of VAT to 5 per cent. for professionally installed systems, a new PV Annex to Planning Policy Guidance Note (PPG22), simplified connection agreements to the local network (G77 and G83/1) and Installer Training and Accreditation Schemes. In addition the Government have amended the Renewables Obligation to enable very small generators like PV to accumulate their production over a year, rather than a month, so as to qualify for ROCs.

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