In a recent announcement, Rishi Sunak unveiled plans to restrict solar panel installations across great areas of British farmland, reviving an earlier plan by predecessor Liz Truss. These new restrictions on this green, inexpensive energy source are a blow to the UK’s renewable strategy.
This decision has led many to accuse Sunak of ‘watering down’ the UK’s renewable energy strategy. There have been strong reactions from climate campaigners in response to the news who argue that Sunak’s plans will not only lead to increasing energy bills but could also jeopardise the nation’s energy security.
When Liz Truss initially revealed the plan during her tenure as Prime Minister, it proved divisive and was eventually abandoned upon her departure. However, Conservative MPs have continued to resurrect the idea, prompting Sunak and Coffey’s recent unveiling of the new restriction.
What are the benefits of solar panels?
Solar panels harness energy from the sun. Compared to fossil fuels, they are a clean and renewable energy source, providing enormous potential energy savings without causing damage to the environment.
Solar panel installations have increased hugely in recent years, with more and more homeowners opting for solar panel installation Avonmouth or elsewhere. Statistics show that 88% of the British public support the use of solar panels and solar energy, so what are the reasons for Sunak’s turnaround?
What about homeowners?
The PM’s plans don’t seem set to impact homeowners, who in recent years have greatly benefited from the energy savings provided by their solar panels. Planning permission is rarely required for solar panel installation in Avonmouth or the wider UK, making it relatively straightforward.
Why the restrictions?
According to ministers, food security should be accorded the same importance as energy security. Therefore, they argue that officials must have the power to reject any solar power project that could potentially jeopardise the nation’s food security, particularly in areas such as farms where food is cultivated. The contentious plan includes granting extra authority to planning officials in the NPPF, who will have the ability to reject solar projects on this basis.