MPs to battle over energy market reforms

The government is facing a tough battle over its 'bloody minded' views on the energy market and Feed-In Tariff (FITs), according to the opposition.

With Parliament now back is session after the summer break MPs are due to debate energy and FITs changes next Thursday (September 15).

The coalition changed the levels of FITs earlier this year to prevent large scale solar farms benefiting from grants.

Speaking exclusively to ahead of the debate shadow energy minister, Huw Irranca Davies, said the government's refusal to shift its position was threatening investment in all renewables.

"They're being bloody minded about this and they need to make good on all the rhetoric and turn it into reality.

"The current set of FITs levels is discriminating against community groups who want to install solar."

The minister believes the current top level of 50kw should be reviewed for community groups with upper levels of 150kw or even 350kw if the project was suitable.

Mr Irranca Davies, who served as a minister for Defra in the last government, is open about the fact his administration always planned to change the system

He added: "FITs was always designed to be changed, but the way it has been is barely democratic, the coalition have drafted a scheme on their own.

"As well as not considering community groups they not looked at the possibility of lowering the MW limit for these solar parks.

"Back in October last year I warned the government of the genuine threat the problem large-scale solar in a parliamentary debate, but they ignored it.

"That is why we'll be opposing the government next week."

While there are tax breaks available for community groups wanted to install renewables, exactly what they can do through FITs is still to be clarified by the government.

Mr Irranca-Davies will speak at edie's Sustainability Leaders Forum on November 3 at London's Hurlingham Club.

Luke Walsh


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