London needs Feed in Tariff to meet solar potential

London has the lowest amount of installed solar power capacity in the UK, with fewer than 0.5% of the city’s 3 million homes being equipped with solar technology. Low levels of owner occupation, lack of consumer interest and the cityscape of tall apartment blocks and terraced housing are commonly considered to be responsible for the low levels of take-up but they don’t tell the full story, a new report from the London Assembly Environment Committee concludes.

The report finds the capital still performs worst of all regions when comparing only unshared, owner-occupied houses. It also notes that London has much lower solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity than inner London, when those houses are compared on a like for like basis. It says more analysis is needed to fully understand why London is failing to meet its potential for producing solar power.

The committee’s report, Bring me sunshine!, calls on the Mayor to lobby the government against the proposed 87% cut or complete scrappage of its Feed in Tariff (FIT), which provides financial subsidy to households with solar panels.

The committee also wants the capital’s incoming Mayor to promote the benefits of domestic solar power to Londoners and provide them with support and knowledge to encourage them to use green energy.

The Greater London Authority is currently mapping out the capital’s energy supply and demand to 2050 in a London Energy Plan.

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