BSRIA is disappointed with yesterday’s government announcement that subsidies for small scale solar electricity panels on homes are to be cut, albeit less than expected. The subsidies will be cut by 64 per cent, less than the previous proposal of an 87 per cent reduction.
UK Energy Secretary Amber Rudd said: “We have to get the balance right and I am clear that subsidies should be temporary, not part of a permanent business model. When the cost of technologies come down, so should the consumer-funded support.”
Julia Evans, Chief Executive, BSRIA, said: “The cuts have been softened following a storm of criticism. The government says large-scale solar farms are cost-competitive, but the industry is worried about a new government cap on the volume of solar installations.
“It is bizarre that the government continues to hand out billions of pounds in subsidies every year to ‘less green’ fossil fuels, while trying to block the clean energy sources the UK urgently needs. The government says its main priorities are keeping the lights on and holding the bills down. But its downgrading of renewables since the election has already deterred some investors from the UK. Indeed, investor confidence is being compromised.
“Only from last week’s Paris Climate Change summit, BSRIA has called for government to set the direction to allow industry to play its part in leading this vital global low-carbon challenge. Nothing in yesterday’s announcement does anything to reassure me that there is a commitment to renewables. It seems to be endless rhetoric and policy u-turns on climate change by the government – most of them in the built environment.
“This news is disappointing given that subsidies were one of the cheapest ways that the government could meet its statutory climate change targets.”
Domestic solar subsidies were said to be costing households about £7 a year. The industry said the planned cuts announced in the summer have already cost 6,500 jobs.
In October, BSRIA supported the Solar Trade Association’s emergency rescue plan that would save 27,000 jobs across the sector.