Monthly Archives: October 2011

Aargh!!!! Con-Dems decision to slash PV feed-in tariffs could be the death knell for our PV-for free scheme – watch this space

The Coalition Government landed a severe blow to the solar industry today by announcing that feed-in tariffs to support the installation of solar PV will be halved.

For domestic-size schemes, payments are being reduced from up to 43.3p per unit to 21p for sites of 4kW or below, with installations completed after the consultation ends on 12 December 2011 set to receive the new lower rate from 1st April 2012.

Brighton MP Caroline Lucas has slammed the Government’s decision to punish solar success’, warning that by failing to take a more gradual approach to reducing the rates to allow the industry to adapt accordingly, the Government risks killing UK solar off altogether.

Caroline Lucas MP said:

“The reckless decision to slash feed in tariffs for solar by half poses a serious risk to the UK’s burgeoning solar PV industry – and proves yet again that not even a successful, jobs-rich sector like solar is safe from the anti green forces in the Treasury (1).

“Initial reports of an even more drastic cut – from 43.3p to 9p, said to be the preferred option of some in Government – was nothing short of pre-emptive spin to try to take the heat off Ministers for absolutely failing to defend this flourishing industry.

“The timing of the decision is particularly damaging – this wasn’t supposed to happen until April, yet the Government has chosen to bring it forward and cause massive chaos, just as it did with the solar installations greater than 50kw back in March.

“It’s crucial that the levels of Government support are known to industry far in advance to enable people and organisations to plan ahead.

“This shock treatment will seriously damage the business case for solar energy programmes, such as Brighton & Hove City Council’s ambitious plan for solar panels on public buildings and council houses.

“While everyone accepts that the tariff needed to be revised in line with falling installation costs, consumer bills and economic realities, the speed and scale of this cut is simply unacceptable and will cause huge disruption to a sector just finding its feet – not to mention the 25,000 jobs which it has created.

“Local councils like Brighton and Hove, who were looking to this programme to partly offset Government cuts to their budget, whilst reducing their carbon footprint, tackling fuel poverty and creating local jobs, have severely been let down by this tariff reduction.”

Caroline Lucas concluded: “Furthermore, by claiming that the solar cuts will benefit other energy producers, the Government is trying to drive a wedge between different players in the renewables sector, when it should really be focusing its attention on keeping its promises to clean industries and defending green jobs.”



1) The feed-in tariff scheme was introduced in April 2010 and has seen over 80,000 solar installations, the creation of more than 22,000 jobs and almost 4,000 new businesses.

Economics themes dominate the week!

On top of Molly Scott Cato’s talk in Swansea on Tuesday evening, we are invited you to the first Positive Money Meetup in SOUTH WALES – in Cardiff – on Wednesday, 2nd November 2011.

The location is in Cardiff but it is hoped that the many Positive Money registered supporters in other South Wales locations particularly Newport and Swansea will make an effort to attend. Attendance by the latter should enhance Campaign efforts to spread the word and educate a wider area of the South Wales population of the need to Reform our Money Creation System as advocated by Positive Money. The urgency for this to be widely recognised is dramatically emphasised by the current complete meltdown of the Financial/Banking System that has caused devastation of our Real Economy, increasing unemployment and rising inflation.


Wednesday 2nd November 6.30 PM for 7.00 PM start


PARK INN (CARDIFF NORTH) Circle Way East Llanedeyrn Cardiff South Glamorgan CF23 9XF

Let me know if you want me to arrange a lift share again.

Renowned Green Economist Molly Scott Cato will be visiting Swansea on Tuesday next (1 November)

How Green Economics could transform Wales.

Dr Scott Cato will be speaking at a public meeting in The Environment Centre, Pier Street, Swansea, SA1 1RY at 7:30 PM on Tuesday 1 November. Entry is free and everyone is welcome.

Molly Scott Cato is a green economist and expert in the social economy. She specialises in the issues of trade, work, money and cooperatives. She is a Reader in Green Economics at the Cardiff School of Management and Director of Wales Institute for Research into Co-operatives.

She studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics in Oxford, and after working in the publishing industry, earned her PhD from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth with a thesis on employment policy in the South Wales Valleys.

Her publications include Seven Myths About Work (1996), Green Economics: Beyond Supply and Demand to Meeting Peoples Needs (1999 co-edited) and Market, Schmarket: Building the Post-Capitalist Economy (2006).

Her report on the structure of government specialist science advice committees, I Dont Know Much About Science, apparently influenced the structure of the government committee examining the effects of low-level radiation. Another report in 2002 for the Association of Green Councillors was titled Using Best Value to Encourage Green Procurement in Local Authorities.

Keith M Ross of Swansea Green Party said, Thanks to green thinkers like Molly Scott Cato, the Green Party is able to offer a real alternative to the failed economic policies of the traditional parties.

Were very pleased to have Molly speaking in Swansea against the background of the governments proposed Localism bill a subject she is well versed in.

More details of Molly Scott Catos work can be found at:


Media Lens analysis of the killing of Gaddafi

The self-proclaimed goal of Media Lens is to promote rationality, compassion and respect for others. Almost by definition, this makes it a humanistic organisation and one that I fully support.This media alert echoes my own disquiet over the circumstances and reporting of Gaddafi’s death.

Subscribe to Media Lens alerts here:


Andy Chyba

Positive Energy: how renewable electricity can transform the UK by 2030

This ground-breaking new report shows that renewable energy is the key to reducing carbon emissions from the UK power sector in a way that is stable, secure and affordable.

Click to access positive_energy_final_designed.pdf

The report shows that it is perfectly feasible for renewables to deliver at least 60% of the UKs electricity demand by 2030, enabling us to reduce emissions without resorting to new nuclear power or shale gas. By reducing our demand for energy we can reduce the costs of new low carbon generation capacity by around £40 billion by 2030, making it easier and cheaper to hit our climate targets.

Positive Energy has received support from a wide range of businesses, individuals and organisations, welcoming the contribution of the report to the energy debate. You can read what these organisations have to say here.

The report builds on our global vision of a world powered entirely by renewables, as detailed in The Energy Report: 100% renewable energy by 2050.

Happy first birthday for the Bridgend Greens blog!!!

If you check out the archive, the first ever posting to this blog was 25th October 2010, so its birthday was yesterday!!!

It had cause to celebrate for another reason yesterday as it achieved its highest ever daily hits yesterday too!

Yesterday we achieved 129 hits – mostly looking at the recent fracking success stories.

Overall, in its first year, we have seen:

  • 275 articles posted
  • 5230 hits (over 100 per week on average)
  • 62 comments posted
  • Busiest day = 25th October (129 hits)
  • Busiest week = Week 13 of 2011- last week of March (289 hits)
  • Busiest month = September 2011 (843 hits – this month is currently 145 behind)

All these figures are trending upwards, so please keep coming back and feel free to comment and contribute.


Send your postings to:

Time for Oppression of Gays to Stop

Right now, almost 80 countries around the world make it a crime to be gay, lesbian or transgender. In 10 of those nations, you can be sentenced to death or life behind bars. The majority of these nations share a connection – they are members of the Commonwealth – an organization bringing together 54 nations to discuss law, society and economic development.

The leaders of the Commonwealth nations are gathering this week in Perth, Australia where their Secretary General, Kamalesh Sharma, just gave a courageous speech calling on each of their countries to finally stop the criminalization of LGBT people. It’s historic, but hardly a done deal: Forces within the Commonwealth are working double-time to silence Sharma and others.

We need to support Secretary General Sharma and show the other heads of state that a massive global outcry is bubbling up in their own countries and demanding fairness. The meeting kicks off this Friday and we need thousands from United Kingdom to join Commonwealth citizens around the world and sign on to this statement of support for Secretary General Sharma. If enough of us demand the Commonwealth reject criminalization in the next 48 hours, our voices will be impossible to ignore.

Will you please take a minute to sign the statement, then share it far and wide:

Thirty-nine Commonwealth nations make it a crime to be gay or transgender.

We have 48 hours to stand with Commonwealth Secretary General Sharma and demand an end to these laws:


Hard evidence that supports what we intuitively have long known: How economic inequality harms societies

We feel instinctively that societies with huge income gaps are somehow going wrong. Richard Wilkinson charts the hard data on economic inequality, and shows what gets worse when rich and poor are too far apart: real effects on health, Lifespan, even such basic values as trust.

TAX JUSTICE – HM Govt E-Petition sponsored by Caroline Lucas

Text of the petition:

Responsible department: Her Majesty’s Treasury

We applaud campaigns by trade unions, church groups, and civil society demanding tax justice and join them in calling on the Government to take action to identify those avoiding and evading tax. Firstly, the Chancellor should force all multinational companies filing accounts in the UK to reveal their use of tax havens and publish what profits they earn and what tax they pay in each country in which they operate, without exception. Secondly, banks should be required by law to give details of all accounts they maintain for companies operating in the UK so HMRC and Companies House can chase any companies who pretend to be dormant to evade tax. These two simple changes could help recover billions of pounds of lost tax for the UK by revealing those hiding their income from view.

Sign this petition :


Caroline Lucas is launching the Bill after posing a number of Parliamentary Questions to the Chancellor, in which she exposed the fact that HMRC is failing to prevent serious tax evasion which could amount to as much as £16 billion of lost tax.

A report published by Tax Research UK reveals that around 500,000 companies “disappeared” from the UK’s Register of Companies in the year to March 2010 – with billions being lost to the Exchequer as a result.

The Green Party MP believes that urgent measures are needed to stop companies that are formally dissolved from trading fraudulently, thereby undermining honest businesses who do pay their taxes.

Caroline Lucas MP said: “This Bill has two aims. The first is to tackle the scandalous reality that around 500,000 companies every year are not paying tax in the UK – an issue highlighted in the report published by Tax Research UK this week. It estimates that regulatory failures by H M Revenue & Customs and Companies House mean that around 500,000 companies a year fail to pay their tax or file their accounts.

“A great many are simply struck off the Register of Companies as a result, never to be heard of again. Tax Research UK estimate that up to £16 billion of tax a year might be lost to the country as a result.

“This Bill would ensure that banks have to provide details on all accounts they maintain for companies operating in the UK so that H M Revenue & Customs and Companies House can chase those companies who do not file the returns they’re obliged to make for the missing information – and the tax they owe. This simple law could recover billions of pounds of lost tax for the UK.”

She continued: “Secondly, the bill would force companies to ‘publish what tax they pay’, requiring all companies filing accounts in the UK to include a statement on the turnover, pre-tax profit, tax charge and actual tax paid for each country in which they operate, without exception.

“If they only trade in the UK, this has no impact on them. This information would, however, mean that the answers to the questions asked of Barclays Bank earlier this year about where it earned its profits, how much profit was recorded in tax havens, and where it paid its taxes could be answered for all companies trading internationally.”

Caroline Lucas added: “This information on where companies make their sales, record their profits and pay their taxes is vital if we are to ensure that multinational corporations make a fair and proper contribution to our society.

“Corporate social responsibility is not an option for companies – and paying tax to the country that provides them with their opportunities to trade is an essential part of it. You can’t be socially responsible and accountable unless you say where you are and what you do in each place that you trade.”


– The report from Tax Research UK is entitled ‘500,000 missing people: £16 billion of lost tax’ and is available here –