Philip Dunne welcomes Government ambitions to raise the solar power renewable energy contribution from 14 GW to 70 GW and calls on the Government to build on the work to remove VAT on solar panel installation to be extended to electricity storage products in domestic homes.
May I build on the excellent question from my right hon. Friend the Member for South Holland and The Deepings (Sir John Hayes), with which I agree?* The Secretary of State has included in his medium and long-term strategy the ambition to raise solar power from 14 GW to 70 GW, which would obviously make an enormous contribution to renewable energy generation. Will he follow up the excellent work that he undertook with the Treasury to remove VAT on solar panel installation and also press for VAT to be removed from electricity storage for battery walls and similar products in domestic homes?
My right hon. Friend will appreciate that tax issues specifically are not in my portfolio, but I speak to the Chancellor of the Exchequer all the time about how we can incentivise investment in new, exciting green technologies. That is something that we are very pleased to do.
I refer hon. Members to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. The commitment to solar is vital, but does the Secretary of State recognise that food security is as important as energy security? Every building, every warehouse and every commercial enterprise should be covered in solar before a single acre of valuable arable land is consumed by solar farms.
I would be very interested to hear my right hon. Friend’s views on solar. I think solar is crucial. I am delighted that we have so many former Energy Ministers in the Chamber today; my right hon. Friend was a very distinguished holder of the post, and I am very pleased to engage with him on this important subject.