Subsidies and incentives for solar energy to be scrapped by the end of the year
The UK government’s recent proposal to cut Feed in Tariffs and incentives for solar panel installations has caused a wave of disappointment and protesting. The majority of the complaints come from companies who were planning to invest in solar and community projects, which will be hit the hardest by the announced cuts. Solar installations sized between 1 and 5 MW will likely become unattractive starting next year, which might slow down the country’s efforts to build a strong renewable energy portfolio. Policy makers argue that these changes will ensure that subsidies go where they are most needed and make bills lighter for taxpayers, but the first consequences of their announcement have already become evident.
1000 Jobs lost
One of the country’s leading solar panel installers, the Leicester-based Mark Group, had to cut almost 1000 jobs, blaming the policy announcements for the downfall. The company was going through insolvency issues and had been planning a turnaround from insulation, their main focus in the past, to solar PV, but had to review the plan after learning the news. The cuts would make a PV-based plan unviable, and the whole country unattractive for solar PV investors, according to the company.
Solar Schools to close next year
The Solar Schools project has been incredibly successful so far, managing to install solar panels on 30 schools, with 16 more in the works. However, the proposed cuts would make it impossible for the community project to move forward. The 16 work-in-progress projects will likely be their last, since future installations would become unviable. Campaign manager Amy Cameron voiced her concerns about a future loss of confidence in renewables led by the cuts, and expressed her belief that community projects such as Solar Schools are of fundamental importance in terms of public awareness, preservation of the environment and support of critical areas.
Peterborough rushes to offer free solar panels
A new scheme was put in place in the city of Peterborough that offers free solar panels to all suitable homes. Owners would not have to pay any fee and would be able to enjoy £200 yearly savings on electricity bills. The FiT payments would be collected by the City Council to repay the cost of installment. Citizens are being urged to apply for the scheme before the end of the year in order to beat the government cuts, since FiT rates might be reduced by almost 90%. Installing solar panels before the cuts become a reality will ensure 20 years of payments at current rates, and Peterborough is determined to take advantage of the next three months to have as many solar panels installed and become a green energy capital.