Ministers plan an abrupt change of policy to rescue solar power jobs

Tom McGhie at posted this article on 11th June 2011. To read the full version, please click here.

Ministers plan an abrupt change of policy in an effort to rescue tens of thousands of jobs and billions of pounds of investment promised by Britain’s solar energy industry, which are threatened by Treasury cuts.

On Thursday the Department of Energy and Climate Change was forced to announce that subsidies for large-scale solar farms would be slashed to allow domestic solar schemes to go ahead within a Treasury- imposed ceiling of £860 million.

The effect of limiting the new and highly successful scheme to small projects would, according to solar manufacturers and installers, effectively ‘kill the industry’.

But Financial Mail can reveal that the Department has been working on plans to revive large solar farms by including them in the Renewable Obligation project – another environmental subsidy scheme.

An announcement on the size of the subsidy to large-scale projects will be made in the autumn. The hope is that by 2013, when new tariffs take effect, the solar industry will be able once again to develop.

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