Barking Riverside Solar Panel

Assembly repeats its call for the Mayor to stand up for solar

10 February 2016

The London Assembly today urged the Mayor to again lobby the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to meet with a cross-party delegation of Assembly Members.

A motion was agreed which calls on the Mayor to encourage the Government to prioritise the future sustainability of London’s energy supply and its renewables industry.

 

Murad Qureshi AM, who proposed the motion said:

“The Mayor should be championing clean energy, not only because of its environmental benefits but because of the jobs that come with it. Instead the industry is falling behind in the capital and costing significant numbers of jobs.

Not only has the Mayor refused to even consider the idea of a London feed in tariff to boost the solar industry, he now appears to be trying to block London Assembly Members from sharing their views by excluding them from his meeting with the Energy Secretary.”

 

Stephen Knight AM, who seconded the motion said:

London has the potential to become a global leader in the use of solar power, but currently has the lowest amount of installed power capacity of any region in the UK.

Turning this situation around is vital to reducing the capital’s dependency on fossil fuels and supporting London’s renewable energy companies.

It is time that the Government were asked once again to rethink its damaging decision to cut the solar Feed In Tariff, which will undermine the move towards the wider adoption of solar power in London.

The full text of the Motion is:

This Assembly notes the response from the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to the Chair of the Assembly regarding the cuts to the solar Feed in Tariff and the motion passed by the Assembly on 4 November 2015.

This Assembly believes the decision to press ahead with cuts to the FiT is a short sighted decision which will seriously hamper efforts to make London a global leader on solar power.

The Assembly further notes:

  • The UK is the only member of the G7 to increase fossil fuel subsidies whilst simultaneously attacking the renewables sector[2];
  • London has the lowest amount of installed solar power capacity of any region in the UK[3].
  • The Mayor’s statement in the London Infrastructure Plan that there will be “up to a 20 per cent increase in (energy) demand in the capital by 2050”[4]; and
  • Analysis by the Solar Trade Association shows that almost 1,800 jobs have been lost in the UK solar industry, with many thousands more expected to go[5].

This Assembly was disappointed the Mayor failed to take a leadership role and stand up for London, by taking forward the Assembly’s suggestion of leading a delegation to meet with the Secretary of State.

The London Assembly represents the views and interests of over 8.5 million Londoners. The Secretary of State’s decision to shun London’s democratic institutions by refusing to meet a cross-party delegation of Members and entrepreneurs sends the strongest message possible that the future sustainability of London’s energy supply and its renewables industry are a matter of worryingly low priority to the Government. Although the Government has now made its decision, this Assembly asks that the Mayor consider this request again, so to impress on the Secretary of State the likely impact of these changes.

Notes to editors

  1. The motion was agreed by 13 votes for, 9 against.
  2. The Guardian: UK becomes only G7 country to increase fossil fuel subsidies 12.11.15 (Accessed 14.1.16)
  3. London Assembly Report “Bring Me Sunshine” 23.10.15 (Accessed 14.1.16)
  4. The London Infrastructure Plan 2050 (Consultation) p.3 (Accessed 15.1.16)
  5. Solar Trade Association Press Release 30.11.15 (Accessed 15.1.16)
  6. Watch the full webcast.
  7. Murad Qureshi AM who proposed the motion is available for interviews. Please see contact details below. 
  8. 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.