HC Deb 15 July 1997 vol 298 c141W
Mr. Dafis

To ask the President of the Board of Trade and Industry how many homes in Britain are solar powered currently; and if he will set targets to increase this number. [7098]

Mr. Battle

There are currently four solar powered (photovoltaic) domestic housing schemes in the UK, comprising a total of 14 homes in the private sector. However, there are over 40,000 homes with active solar heating and many more with passive solar design features. The current cost of installing photovoltaic (PV) panels (1.5–3.0kWp) onto a domestic house is typically between £10,000 and £15,000 per property. PV electricity costs typically around 5–10 times more than conventionally generated electricity, depending on specific circumstances. However, the technology is developing rapidly, and with continually falling costs due to economies of scale, PV may become a strategically important electricity generating technology in the future.

I recently announced a review of policy on new and renewable energy, and the Government's support for the solar energy industry will be considered in that context.