Solar panel installations have slumped as suppliers struggle to cope with the end of subsidies and a damaging mis-selling scandal. European Union rules forcing the government to quadruple VAT on certain installations from next month is expected to further damage the industry considered crucial to the UK meeting its ambitious carbon reduction targets. Installations last year were down more than 75 per cent than those of 2015 as generous subsidies guaranteeing homeowners an income from selling power back to the grid have been eroded. From March this year, those subsidies, paid through a levy on everyone’s energy bills, were removed. One million British homes — about one in 25 — have solar panels and they collectively generate the same amount of energy as Britain’s biggest power station. However, that number is now expected to stagnate despite growing awareness of the threat of climate change. Confidence in the industry has also been hit by a mis-selling scandal that has seen thousands of homeowners given false promises about the income their panels would generate to encourage them to take out high-cost loans to pay for them.
Times 14th Sept 2019 read more »
Electricity could be delivered to more than a billion people currently living without it within a decade by linking up small-scale projects into a giant, environmentally-friendly network.According to a new global commission, advances in micro energy grids and renewable energy technologies could “dramatically accelerate change” and transform lives in rural areas of sub-Saharan African and south Asia. The Global Commission to End Energy Poverty met for the first time this week to set out plans to accelerate the UN’s sustainable development goal to ensure access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy for all people by 2030. The commission, established by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Energy Initiative and the Rockefeller Foundation, plans to bring together leading investors, utilities and policymakers to tackle energy poverty.
Guardian 13th Sept 2019 read more »