British government to roll out solar strategy

April 26, 2013 at 8:01 AM
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LONDON, April 26 (UPI) -- The British government this summer will unveil its first solar strategy to help encourage sector growth, Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said.

The British government last month said it was giving offshore wind energy a $3.4 million vote of confidence in a move to drive down costs by 25 percent to green-up the economy.

"If we want to go further, solar photovoltaics must be at the center of that ambition," Barker told an energy conference.

Barker said advances in solar energy can take place but only through thoughtful management. The country has more than 400,000 small-scale solar installations that are generating nearly 1.5 gigawatts of power.

"Solar is a genuinely exciting energy of the future. It is coming of age and we want to see a lot, lot more," he said.

The International Energy Agency said last week that solar power capacity grew more than 40 percent from 2011-12.

Barker said his government would unveil plans this summer that would chart a way forward for solar power.

"As the sector grows, we need to balance the huge opportunities with responsible growth," he said. "As a key part of our work on a solar strategy, we will work, in association with the sector, on how we can ensure that large-scale solar deployment is truly sustainable."

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