London SE1 community website

Kate Hoey raises plight of Lower Marsh’s Solarcentury in the Commons

London SE1 website team

Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey has told the House of Commons that Lower Marsh-based solar energy firm Solarcentury will be seriously affected by the Government's decision to cut the feed-in tariff scheme.

Kate Hoey raises plight of Lower Marsh’s Solarcentury in the Commons

The feed-in tariff, which was introduced in 2010, pays householders for the energy produced by their solar power systems and has led to more than 90,000 new systems being installed in the last 18 months.

Government proposals, published at short notice only a few weeks ago, would reduce the tariff from 43.3p per kilowatt hour to 21p a cut of more than 50 per cent which would make solar unviable for many people, and bring to an end large numbers of schemes to install solar systems in social housing.

Campaigners fighting the Government's proposals say that 25,000 jobs will be put at risk across the country, with some redundancies before Christmas.

Speaking in a Commons debate on Wednesday afternoon, Kate Hoey said: "Perhaps my right honourable friend might like to tell members who do not have any of these companies in their constituency or who do not understand this issue that they might like to walk five minutes from here across Westminster Bridge and along Lower Marsh to visit Solarcentury in my constituency.

"A large number of people there will be out of work precisely because of what the Government are doing."

On Monday the Labour leader Ed Milband and the shadow energy and climate change secretary Caroline Flint visited Solarcentury's Lower Marsh HQ.

"David Cameron can't talk about economic growth when he is cutting off new industry at the knees," said Mr Miliband on Twitter after the visit.

Solarcentury's rooftop in Waterloo – lined with solar panels – has been a favourite spot for photo opportunities for politicians of all parties keen to show their commitment to green energy.

The company's current projects include the Government-funded installation of the world's largest solar bridge at Blackfriars Station.

Earlier this month Solarcentury founder Jeremy Leggett wrote an open letter to David Cameron: "You will recall that five years ago you chose to host your first shadow environment team 'meet the media' event at Solarcentury. I was very proud to welcome you to the 'frontline' of Britain's then fledgling solar PV industry.

"Throughout the Conservatives' period in opposition we worked tirelessly as a company to assist you in developing a coherent and indeed leading position on "green" issues including proposals for a feed-in tariff.

"In the early months of your premiership, again I was very proud to be able to accompany you to India and genuinely welcomed prospects for the "greenest Government ever." 18 months on after the election, this company has done everything asked of it by your Government.

"We have invested, innovated, researched, exported, manufactured, supported 'Big Society' projects and created jobs winning a Queen's Award for Enterprise only this year.

"But today, surveying the wreckage caused to my company by [the] announcement, I have to ask you Prime Minister, where did it all go wrong?"

The SE1 website is supported by people like you
Related forum discussions
We are part of
Independent Community News Network
Email newsletter

For the latest local news and events direct to your inbox every Monday, you need our weekly email newsletter SE1 Direct.

7,000+ locals read it every week. Can you afford to miss out?

Read the latest issue before signing up

News archive from February 1999 to January 2001
Got a story for us?
Contact us with your tip-offs and story ideas.