The government’s flagship green grant scheme turned in to an arid desert within 90 minutes yesterday as passionate environmentally concerned homeowners scrambled for this month’s rationed supply of grants for wind turbines and solar panels.
Last month the supply of grants ran out before midday on the 1st, while in January they lasted until the 12th and in December, the month in which the cap was introduced, they lasted until the 20th.
The cap the government has put on the household stream of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme is a meagre £500,000.
Last night the renewable energy industry accused the government of presiding over a farce and called for another £15 million pounds in order to continuously fund the LCBP until the start of its next renewable energy support scheme.
The Solar Trade Association compared the UK situation with that in Germany where small-scale renewable energy industry is well over 20 times the size of the comparable British industry and the German government has a full range of long term financial and regulatory measures in place to support their fledging small-scale renewables industry.
As a result, many German householders are actively purchasing renewable energy systems and the German industry is flourishing with new investment, the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs and new factories.
But shortage of cash is not the only impediment to Britain’s green aspirations. The British Wind Energy Association said 12 out of 18 proposals had failed to win planning consent.
This will make it difficult for the UK to meet its current target of generating 10% of electricity from renewables by 2010, BWEA said, - not to mention the ambitious target of 20% that Mr Blair has now decided Britain must reach.