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Gap in funding for renewables

 
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Uncle-silas



Joined: 20 Apr 2005
Posts: 10
Location: Lincolnshire
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 05 11:19 am    Post subject: Gap in funding for renewables  Reply with quote    

Dear All,

Below is an urgent letter, emailed to me last night. I hope everyone will read this and customise the letter for themselves and send it to their MP.




The Renewable Power Association has initiated a request to its members to write to MPs in connection with the serious concerns over a funding gap between the end of the current Clear Skies and PV Demonstration Programmes and the likely start next year of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme.

Please write to your MP, a template letter is provided below, and circulate this email to relevant contacts.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

URGENT - please read and action ASAP
We are fast approaching the long predicted black hole in funding allocations between the final rounds of the Clear Skies (4th November) and solar PV Major Demonstration Programmes (2nd December) and the first stream 2 funding round of the new Low Carbon Buildings Programme. The most optimistic forecast of the likely date for the first round of the LCBP is July 2006. The DTI still appear unwilling to consider seriously the RPA's proposals for interim funding options such as extending the current programmes. In these circumstances, the RPA, STA, PV-UK and other industry associations together with NGOs such as Greenpeace are mounting a lobby campaign to persuade the DTI to deliver the continuity of support to our industries promised by successive Labour Energy Ministers. The Lib Dem and Conservative front-benches are working with us as are sympathetic Labour MPs. The BBC and Guardian newspaper will be covering this issue shortly with other media to follow.

There is also something that you can do. It's vitally important that individual constituency MPs start to receive correspondence on this issue from their constituents. Please take ten minutes of your time today to send the attached letter (preferably your own version) to your local constituency MP. Send letters to the MP at the House of Commons, Westminster, London SW1A 0AA. Many (but not all) MPs have email accounts so for urgency please use these. For the name of your local MP and email contact information please visit the Constituency Locata (http://www.locata.co.uk/commons/)

Please urge all employees, suppliers, sub-contractors and customers to do the same.

Template Letter to MPs

Imminent end to renewables support under the Clear Skies and solar PV Major Demonstration Programmes

Dear (insert MP's name)

We are an established renewables business in your constituency. Like other companies around the country we were encouraged by the Government's Energy White Paper and the emphasis it placed on the role that small and micro renewables can play in contributing to Government energy efficiency and renewables targets. For solar PV, the Energy White Paper contained a specific pledge to a 2002-2012 demonstration programme in line with our competitors.

Since 2002, two grant programmes, the DTI's Clear Skies and the Solar PV Major Demonstration programme have provided essential support to the UK's fledgling but rapidly growing renewables industry. For those technologies outside the Renewables Obligation, i.e. all except onshore wind, these grant programmes are essential for promoting their wider uptake. Successive Labour Energy Ministers have emphasised the importance of continuity of support to this sector in the medium term.

In the context of the Prime Minister's repeated comments about the threat of climate change and the role that technology can play in addressing it, we therefore find it incomprehensible that the Government is now sleep-walking towards a minimum gap in grant funding allocations for technologies such as solar thermal, solar PV, and small biomass of at least 8 months. The final funding round under Clearskies is on 4th November and the Solar PV Major Demonstration Programme 2nd December. After that, the industry has been told to await the outcome of the current consultation on the new Low Carbon Buildings Programme and a start date some time in FY 2006/7. Depending on the precise launch date for the new Programme, the hiatus in support could therefore be far longer than 8 months.

The commercial consequences for private sector businesses of this stop-start approach to grant support are obvious with investment decisions being put on hold and jobs in the sector now under threat.

Will you write urgently to the Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks and Trade and Industry Secretary Alan Johnson urging the Government as a minimum to ensure that practical steps are taken to deliver the continuity of support to the sector promised by their predecessors? Would you also consider tabling a PQ on this issue? As a minimum, we are proposing that the DTI confirms as soon as possible a final Spring 2006 funding round under the current programmes which would cost a maximum of 2.5 million. Ideally, the DTI should extend the current programme for another 12 months to allow proper time for the development of the new Low Carbon Buildings Programme, something which the RPA and other industry associations have been pushing for since the early summer.

This Government has to date made much of its support for capital grants as the main policy driver for "near commercial" renewable technologies. The key issue here is the need for consistency and continuity of policy, without which the private sector cannot plan properly or deliver the investment the Government so desperately needs if it is going to meet its future climate change targets.



Yours etc


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