Solar firms urge Cameron to freeze Feed-in Tariff cuts

Published:  11 May, 2012

LONDON: Solar firm bosses have called on the prime minister to freeze cuts to subsidies for solar electricity or risk killing off the solar industry for good.

Executives from over 400 solar companies, renewable firms and trade bodies have asked David Cameron to intervene to stop cuts to the Feed-in Tariff (FiT), which the government is planning to impose in July.

Signatories of the letter that was sent to Number 10 on Friday, include representatives of firms such as Solarcentury, Kingspan and Orta Solar, and chief executives of trade bodies the Federation of Master Builders, National Federation of Roofing Contractors and the Electrical Contractors Association. They are warning that the solar industry is already in "meltdown" and that a freeze in further cuts is "imperative" to save the industry.

The letter, which has been coordinated by the Cut, Donít Kill solar campaign, says: "The Department of Energy and Climate Change is currently consulting on a further round of cuts to FITs, effective from July. If this new reduction is implemented, the tariff will have reduced by as much as 69% in the space of three months.†

The letter says that the industry is reeling from as "series of unsettling knee-jerk changes to FiTs" and that "its future has been jeopardised by the Department for Energy and Climate Change's mishandling" of the FiTs.†

"All of this has undermined public confidence in the future of solar electricity. Panel installation rates were roughly half in April this year to that of a year ago. Indeed, the rate has nose-dived to such an extent that it would now take another 160 years to deliver the amount of solar energy that the Government claims it wants to generate by 2020."

The Cut Donít Kill Campaign says the UK's solar industry has shrunk by a quarterand most solar installation companies are now worried about their future.

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