Government halts solar energy programme

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A government programme to encourage the installation of renewable solar technology on public buildings by offering grants has been halted.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has brought an end to the scheme after unprecedented demand for financial support in installing solar photovoltaic panels used up their allocated £50 million budget ahead of schedule.

Photovoltaic panels have proved the most popular renewable technology available under the grant scheme and industry experts claim that money allocated for other renewable technologies – such as wind – should be redirected to support solar energy.

Meanwhile, critics have accused the government of backtracking.

Paul King, head of the UK Green Building Council, said: "The prime minister has talked of the need to both invest in low-carbon infrastructure and to stimulate the economy.

"It seems absurd that government has now suspended grant applications for solar PV."

Meanwhile, Scottish Renewables is expected to reiterate its call for further investment in renewable technology from the British government this week.

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