Tuesday, November 1st 2011, 9:14 AM EDT
Scheme or scam? In the Aspley and Broxtowe areas of Nottingham mass installation of solar panels onto residents houses means their bills will be effectively subsidised by the rest of us
Having just installed 200 solar panels in a field on his Wiltshire estate, film director Guy Ritchie is no doubt feeling quite the eco-warrior.
For Ritchie, who retained his Ashcombe House estate as part of his divorce settlement with Madonna, is merely the latest celebrity to take advantage of the Government’s Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme — whereby home-owners can earn inflated payments for selling electricity generated by their solar panels and other carbon-free means, such as heat pumps or boilers.
Others who have recently jumped on the green energy bandwagon include Manchester United footballer Gary Neville, who has added solar panels, a heat pump and a wind turbine to his new eco-home on the hills above Bolton.
In London, Mick Jagger will soon be earning subsidies for the solar panels on his £10million Chelsea home, as will Jude Law on his £8million Georgian mansion in Highgate.
Nor is it just celebrities taking advantage of the popular government scheme.
More than 100,000 home-owners across the UK have already fitted solar panels to their homes — 16,000 were installed in September alone.
In Nottingham, 600 council homes are in the process of being fitted with panels, in a joint venture between Nottingham City Council and electricity company E-on. There, council tenants are effectively renting their roofs to E-on in return for subsidised payments for the electricity the panels produce.
Thankfully, this absurd subsidy bonanza is soon to come to an end.
Yesterday, Climate Change and Energy Minister Greg Barker announced that subsidies will be cut in half for all new schemes that are registered after December 12 — having effectively admitted that the Government has been overwhelmed by the scheme’s popularity.
Click source to read FULL report from Ross Clark