The Labour government ran into a storm of criticism yesterday after quietly closing its grant programme for solar energy last week, which made a mockery of its commitment to build a low-carbon economy. (Along with airport expansion/road building/Kingsnorth etc)
The low-carbon buildings programme is a grant system aimed at boosting renewable energies including wind, biomass and solar. It was due to close this summer but last week the Department of Energy and Climate Change announced on its website that applications for solar photovoltaic (PV) projects on public buildings such as schools and hospitals were running at such high levels that they had used up their allocated share of half of the £50m grant pot ahead of time.
Environmental campaigners are furious that the solar industry will undergo a gap in support for well over a year at a time when Gordon Brown and other ministers are talking of creating 400,000 green jobs as a way of boosting the economy and combating climate change! Its a Brown New Deal alright, Gordon should learn from our Green New Deal.
Paul King, head of the UK Green Building Council, said: "The prime minister has talked of the need to both invest in low-carbon infrastructure and to stimulate the economy. [This grant system] did just that, so it seems absurd that government has now suspended grant applications for solar PV. This emerging industry needs to be confident of government's commitment - which this decision seriously calls into question."
Friends of the Earth accused Dept for causing climate change officials of 'standing in the way of progress towards a low-carbon economy by remaining too sympathetic to fossil fuel firms.'
Its the 'Age Of Stupid' after all.
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