Impressionist Alistair McGowan backs solar power

Alistair McGowan called changes to solar power supplements 'crazy' as he saw for himself the benefits of the technology at a school in Surrey.

Mr McGowan, a successful comedian, impressionist and actor, was the guest of honour at Hinchley Wood Secondary School, as it celebrated the installation of a 67kWp solar power system yesterday afternoon (May 12).

Watch Mr McGowan give his views on FITs below

If plans by the Government to change Feed-In Tariffs (FIT)s the rules for large scale solar go ahead, the school would not have been able to make the switch to renewable energy.

But now, Hinchley Wood is able to generate 58,000 kWh of electricity a year, making it one of the biggest projects installed on a school.

It should also allow it to save around £3,500 in electricity bills every year and cut 29 tonnes of C02 emissions.

Mr McGowan, a former host of the edie awards, praised the school, but also criticised the Government for cutting subsidies for large scale (FIT)s projects.

He said: “Sadly, the support that was there from the Government is no longer there or is being potentially withdrawn.

“It’s just extraordinary and crazy the Conservative Government said they’d be the greenest Government ever and they’re just not doing what they should be doing.

“Solar is no joke, it’s time for the Government to think big and keep a strong Feed-in Tariff.”

Hinchley Wood School went solar thanks to a new partnership between Solarcentury and ethical bank Triodos Bank.

The bank owns the solar photovoltaics panels with the school paying a precentage of the cost of the system and benefiting from free electricity during the day.

The deal was made possible by the guaranteed price for renewably generated electricity, under the FITs scheme before changes were announced, which are expected to be confirmed in June.

Mr McGowan is a backer of ‘We Support Solar’ a network of companies, NGOs and individuals who want solar power to be an important part of the renewable energy mix in the UK.

Luke Walsh

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