Government attitude on solar subsidy is wrong

The Government was under attack from a “livid” solar industry this week as the campaign to stop it slashing solar subsidies intensified. It has the wrong attitude on the renewable […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The Government was under attack from a “livid” solar industry this week as the campaign to stop it slashing solar subsidies intensified. It has the wrong attitude on the renewable energy source, according to solar campaigner Howard Johns, chairman of the Solar Trade Association, who warned that companies were facing “mass bankruptcy” as a result of the upcoming cuts.

DECC recently announced plans to halve the Feed-in Tariff (FiTs) for solar power projects from 12 December. Energy Minister Greg Barker said the move was essential to protect the “whole viability” of the scheme in the face of rapidly lowering costs.

But Mr Johns told ELN: “The fast track review is completely ridiculous. People are facing mass bankruptcy.” The fledgling industry numbers more than two and a half thousand firms – many of which could be at risk, he suggested.

Mr Johns was among 500 people including solar employees and campaigners (pictured) who descended on Parliament on Tuesday to demand that MPs vote against plans to slash the subsidy for solar power.

He added: “They’re asking for something that’s going to destroy the work we’ve done in the last 18 months.”

Pointing to the Goverment’s Renewables Roadmap, a policy document for future energy sources, which does not include solar power despite listing nine other renewable technologies, Mr Johns said the attitude to solar was backward: “Government thinks it’s a bit of fun, a few toys, but solar PV will actually be one of the important energy sources this century.”