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18 September 2015

London Mayor criticises UK government’s solar cuts

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has criticised the Conservative government’s proposals to slash solar power subsidies in the form of a drastic Feed-in Tariff (FIT) cut, and the move could threaten the future of solar energy in the U.K.

Johnson has been tipped to succeed Prime Minister David Cameron as Conservative leader, and told minister during  Mayor’s Question Time this week that he is "very concerned" about the proposals to cut subsidies for the U.K.’s solar sector.

Johnson cited the "many, many attractions" of solar power technology and said: "I am concerned about the government’s potential cuts to the FIT," the Mayor said. "We are talking to members of all the representative bodies of solar industry in London."

The Mayor suggested that 10,000 jobs could be at risk in London if the proposed FIT cuts are made.

Johnson said: "Solar panels have got cheaper, which is the government’s reason, I think, they are cutting the FIT… but I think it would be wrong if the cut actually stops people from investing in solar, because clearly it has many, many attractions."

The Solar Trade Association (STA) along with 44 stakeholders including Panasonic, Greenpeace, Lightsource, Ikea and DuPont released a joint statement on Thursday urging the government to reconsider the proposed cuts.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said that as many as 20,000 jobs could be lost if the cuts go ahead.

The Shadow Foreign Minister, Hilary Benn, said: "The very significant cuts being proposed by the current government are likely to cost jobs and investment in the green economy."

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