Government Solar Cuts in Numbers
Author: Jonathan Whiting
Published: Thursday, 08 October 2015
The government is planning to slash solar earnings for residential installations. The Feed-in Tariff, which pays households for producing renewable energy, will be cut by 87% in January 2016. As a result, solar installations in 2016 will earn £8,140 less over 20 years than installations in 2015.
Installations in 2015 lock in the current high Feed-in Tariff for 20 years meaning they will not be impacted by the cuts.
The renewable industry is in disbelief over the announcement with fears it will cripple the burgeoning industry just before it is able to stand on its own. The proposed cuts are likely to cause a collapse in solar take-up by homeowners and is predicted to result in over 20,000 job losses (over 50% of the 34,000 currently employed in the solar industry).
Despite the threat of climate change and the government promising to lead a “solar revolution”, fossil fuels still receive much more government support than solar and other renewable sources. The government claim the aim of the cut to solar earnings is to reduce electricity bills, but even they admit this might save households just 50p each a year on their energy bills.
The government also don’t appear to be taking public opinion into consideration; their own research shows that 81% of the UK public are in favour of solar energy. This is much higher than public support for fossil fuels.
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