Nationwide Backing for Solar Industry Appeal to Number Ten

Letter signed by over 200 prominent organisations and a 17,000-strong petition to be delivered by hand to Downing Street today

REA Chief Executive Gaynor Hartnell, STA Chairman Howard Johns, Friends of the Earth Head of Campaigns Andrew Pendleton, Solarcentury Chairman Jeremy Leggett, and a group of cross-party MPs will be delivering a letter to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister at 1pm today urging them to step in to secure the future of the UK solar industry.

The letter has been signed by over 200 prominent people and organisations, including Jonathon Porritt, Tony Juniper, Frances O’Grady (Deputy General Secretary of the TUC) and Tom Paul (Director of construction giant Kingspan).  Directors of the major UK NGOs, including Greenpeace, RSPB and 10:10, and several major unions, have also signed, alongside several illustrious academics from Oxford University, Imperial College London, Edinburgh University, and many more.

The letter will be delivered alongside a petition by Friends of the Earth signed by over 17,000 concerned citizens urging the government to protect the solar sector and the FITs scheme. 

Gaynor Hartnell, Chief Executive of the REA, said: “We are calling on Cameron and Clegg to intervene to ensure a future for solar power beyond 1st April 2012.  An impressive array of select committee chairs, regional politicians, academics, leading environmentalists, NGOs and trades union leaders have joined us in this call.  The cost of solar is falling so dramatically that in about five years’ time it should cost no more to generate one’s own solar power than to buy it from an electricity supply company.  To get there we need commitment and stability, not boom and bust.”

Howard Johns, Chair of STA and spokesman for the Cut Don’t Kill Campaign said: “This is not just about a vital high-tech industry fighting for its survival.  This is a grassroots call to Cameron and Clegg to let people continue to drive the green energy revolution through solar.  Our message to Clegg and Cameron is that the solar industry makes economic, social and environmental sense. Destroying it makes no sense at all.” 

The letter will be circulated later this morning with a full list of signatories. Come and join us outside the gates of Number Ten from 12:45 today.

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