Subsidy cut will ‘cripple’ solar power

The 5MW Westmill solar farm is community owned. Photo courtesy of Westmill Solar.
The 5MW Westmill solar farm is community owned. Photo courtesy of Westmill Solar.

The government is closing off subsidies for large solar farms two years earlier than expected in a move that the renewables industry says will be ‘crippling’.

 

The subsidy for solar farms of over five megawatts capacity will end from 1 April 2015.

 

Funding has been available under the Renewable Obligation Scheme, which has been so successful that the energy department says so many are being built so quickly that they could become unaffordable.

 

Large solar projects will still be eligible for subsidy under the new Contracts for Difference scheme that is designed to offer long term contracts for power generators. But solar will have to compete against other types of renewable energy technologies.

 

The UK solar power industry now generates around 2.7 gigawatts – enough to power 620,000 homes - compared to almost noting five years ago. The energy department says it expects the UK to have 10 to 12 gigawatts of solar capacity installed by 2020. The industry says it has cut its costs by 30% in the last two years and solar was on track to be the cheapest source of low carbon power by 2018.

 

Announcing the decision the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: “Large-scale solar is deploying much faster than we expected. Industry projections indicate that by 2017, there could be more solar deployed than is affordable.”

 

Subsidies for solar panels mounted on buildings will reduce at a slower rate, supporting policy revealed in the department’s Solar Strategy last month.

 

The energy department statement said the UK’s renewable electricity capacity has doubled since 2010 thanks to £34Bn of private sector investment, potentially supporting 37,000 engineering jobs.

 

The Solar Trade Association said the news comes as a ‘crippling blow’ to the future of an industry that has invested 12 months defining and disseminating good practice. A statement said: “The solar farm industry has also brought costs down by 30% over the past two years, and solar was on track to be the cheapest source of low carbon power by 2018.”

Please rate

Comments 

Ctrl + Enter

Most Read

How Blockchain Technology is changing the Energy Sector

How Blockchain Technology is changing the Energy Sector

The disruptive potential of blockchain technology is becoming more evident with every passing day. From the proliferation of cryptocurrencies, and its increasing applications in other areas including banking, gaming, music licensing, as well as the energy sector, blockchain technology is

How to deal with interview rejection

How to deal with interview rejection

Sorry we think you’re not the ideal fit for this position or sorry to inform you, but you are not exactly the candidate we were hoping for – these are some of the replies you may get from an unsuccessful interview, and while it can sting for a day or two, you should not dwell on it any

Mirroring England’s Young World Cup Team in Engineering

Mirroring England’s Young World Cup Team in Engineering

Alas, the cup didn’t come home. However, it's wasn't all doom and gloom as 4th placed England at the just concluded FIFA World Cup in Russia, were not initially expected to perform wonders. However, in the course of the tournament, the belief grew, and hopes were raised. Gareth

This website uses cookies to enhance your user experience. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of these cookies. See our Cookie Policy.