The Planning Officers Society has expressed amazement at the government's decision to halve the subsidies for household solar electricity by next month.
Sule Nisancioglu, Convenor of the Society's Climate Change and Energy Topic Forum, said "This is a very odd decision to be made by a government that claims to be the greenest ever. Individuals, local authorities and other organisations promoting renewable energy or planning to invest in new technologies will be disappointed by this decision."
The decision to reduce the Feed in Tariff will affect the confidence in the "green" industry, and more importantly will send wrong messages to our communities about the need for taking serious action to combat climate change. This is happening at a time when only this week the International Energy Agency sent a warning to governments about the world heading for irreversible climate change within five years if fossil fuel infrastructure is not rapidly changed. The EIA found that CO2 emissions had risen by a record amount in 2010 despite one of the worst recessions in recent years.
Sule went on to say "Planning requirements that some of us have in place for achieving Code level 4 and above for sustainable homes will once again be seen as difficult to achieve especially by applicants of small scale developments. Also the efforts to reduce fuel poverty by use of green technology will be affected by the cut in Feed in Tariffs to organisations such as social housing providers."
The new tariff of 21 pence, down from the current 43p, will take effect from 1 April and be paid to anyone who installs their solar system after 12 December.