Solar installation work ends as FIT subsidy cut bites

Published:  06 January, 2012

LONDON: Solar electricity installations in the last week of 2011 fell by two thirds on the same period last year following the government's cut to solar subsidies.

Only 35 installations were completed in the final week of last year compared with 103 in the final week of 2010 according to data from the Microgeneration Certification Scheme. It also shows that immediately after installations ceased to be eligible for the higher tariff on 12 December the number of installations week-on-week dropped 97%.

Howard Johns, chair of the Solar Trade Association, said: "I think these figures show the start of the reduction in the size of the industry."

Mr Johns said many of the Association's members had teams of staff with nothing to do because of the uncertainty in the system. "I imagine a lot of solar companies will close this month if there isn't a resolution on the feed-in tariff," he said.

The data show 9892 installations were completed in the week ending 11 December but only a 934 were completed in the next week. This is because there had been a huge rush to install panels before 12 December in order to benefit from the high tariff.

Under the government's plans, installations completed after 12 December 2011 deadline will be paid at the lower rate from April this year.

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