Blackfriars Bridge solar panels

If the Mayor won’t meet Secretary of State on solar – we will

04 November 2015

The London Assembly today asked the Mayor to organise a cross-party delegation to meet with the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change about the impact of proposed changes to the solar Feed-in Tariff.

Assembly Members agreed a motion committing to organise the meeting themselves, if the job isn’t done by Friday.

Stephen Knight AM, who proposed the motion said:

“When London has the greatest potential to generate solar power but the lowest amount of installed solar power capacity, the last thing we need is to put further barriers in the way of its adoption.  Yet sadly that is exactly what the Government is doing through the savage 87 per cent cut to the Feed-in Tariff for solar energy.

The Mayor should be joining with Assembly Members from every political party to send out the clear message to the Department for Energy and Climate Change that this policy is not only madness for both London’s environment but will also destroy many jobs in the solar industry.”

Murad Qureshi AM, who seconded the motion said:

“The Government’s proposed changes to the Feed-in Tariff system amount to the most sustained attack yet on our renewables sector. These changes could cost London jobs and seriously undermine the capital’s ability to meet its climate change targets.

It’s deeply disappointing that Boris Johnson has refused to lead a lobby of the Secretary of State on this matter. Surely it’s time the Mayor stood up for London and used his influence to put a stop to a raft of policies that threaten the whole future of solar power in London”.

The full text of the Motion is:

This Assembly notes the Government’s recent consultation on its review of the Feed-in Tariff scheme, the subsidy scheme for the generation of renewable electricity from small-scale installations.

This Assembly further notes that

      i)         London currently has the lowest amount of installed solar power capacity of any region in the UK, but among the greatest potential to generate solar power; and that

      ii)          2,740 people are currently employed in the solar industry and its supply chain in London according to recent research published by the Solar Trade Association.  

This Assembly is concerned that the 87 per cent cut to the Feed-in Tariff for solar energy proposed by the Government will have a disproportionate impact on London’s ability to generate energy from local and renewable sources.

This Assembly also notes the comments made by the Mayor of London on 16 September 2015 that “it would be wrong if the cut in the Feed-in Tariffs actually stops people from investing in solar because it clearly has many attractions.”

This Assembly regrets the Mayor’s refusal so far to lead a cross-party delegation of interested parties to meet with the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to discuss the impact of the Government's proposed changes to the Feed-in Tariff on the viability of the solar industry in London.

Should the Mayor continue to refuse to lead such a delegation by the end of the week (Friday 6th November 2015), this Assembly calls on the Chair of the London Assembly, in consultation with Party Group Leads and the Environment Committee, to write to the Secretary of State requesting a meeting on behalf of Assembly Members and London-based solar companies.

Notes to editors

  1. The motion was agreed by 13 votes for, 7 against.
  2. The full webcast will be available shortly.
  3. Stephen Knight AM who proposed the motion is available for interviews. Please see contact details below. 
  4. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Mary Dolan on 020 7983 4603.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officerNon-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.