See us on TV!
With the FIT being cut, and huge investments being made in nuclear, we were invited to be interviewed for the Sunday Politics show on BBC One. Watch the video here
A couple of months back, rooftop solar installation in the UK was at an all-time high. The FIT was steadily achieving its target of bringing the cost of solar PV systems down, and was being gradually reduced in accordance with the original plan. Rooftop-mounted Solar PV was proving hugely popular with the public, and as a green energy installer and recent startup business, we felt we had the backing of the Government. We were wrong. Without much warning, the Treasury announced a decision in August to dramatically reduce the FIT at the start of 2016. In January, FIT is due to fall from a basic rate of 12.47 pence/kWh, as generated by domestic 4kWp systems, to just 1.63 pence/kWh.
Of course, we were flabbergasted at this decision, to say the least. Our reaction was to write an open letter to the man at the very top – renowned Cornwall fan and Prime Minister, David Cameron – presenting several of the strongest arguments to keep the FIT going, and pointing out why it could well be in his Government’s interest. After all, we truly believe that this decision could have only been made without due consideration of the facts, and the bigger picture. So we took it upon ourselves to make them known. What happened next was what you might call a silver lining.
Having got our letter out at the beginning of September, it was only a few days later that the Government rubbed salt in the renewables industry’s wounds: announcing that we would be investing £2 billion towards an £18 billion new nuclear power station (around £2 billion over previous estimates for the total). What’s more, the Somerset station would be majority-owned by the Chinese. With even more people up in arms about this decision, the green energy sector was suddenly in the limelight.
By coincidence, one of the contacts who’d received our newsletter a couple of days previously was a BBC producer we’d done an installation for. Seeing our article, she called us to see if we could do an interview on BBC Radio Cornwall. We were delighted to, and shortly after, were approached again by the producers of Sunday Politics. It wasn’t a long appearance, but it’s great that solar PV is getting a chance to pitch its argument against that of the much more powerful nuclear industry. And either way, we’re very proud to be chosen to represent our amazing industry. Just goes to show what you can do with a great product, a powerful argument, and the right contacts!