A future for solar in the UK
Well it’s been a rollercoaster ride for the solar industry in the last six months. It has been a very unsettling period for all in the industry with three mini rushes, two court cases, a Supreme Court ruling and a mass of media coverage about our plight. In some ways all the pressure and noise has had a big influence in shaping the debate, and we have some stuff to celebrate – the increase in "ambition" to 2020 and uplift in budget to cover the "overspend" to date, which are both welcome changes.
However none of that can get around the fact that the industry has been seriously damaged as a result of all the changes and that the increased ambition is a fig leaf for the July proposals that will see more of the industry going out of business this year. On the Government's own numbers, approximately one third of people working in the PV sector will lose their jobs in 2012. We think the actual number will be far higher. Already, the DECC FIT shambles has claimed a number of victims including Filsol, one of the UKs oldest solar businesses and we are getting weekly reports of small installers going out of business.
For many we are now suffering directly from the uncertainty caused by the changes in tariffs and the new conditions that have been applied uniquely to trading in our sector. Only today, DECC published the very latest weekly MCS statistics showing that in the week to 15th April, there were just 579 domestic installations and 1 (one) non domestic installation in the entire country. Last week's numbers were actually down on the numbers for the week to 8th April, which of course included the long Easter weekend. Even if the market now recovers to end June, we face further swingeing cuts from 1 July unless we act right now to put increased public and politcal pressure on Ministers to think again.
For the last couple of months the cut don’t kill campaign (funded by 30 leading UK solar businesses) has been laying low. On the eve of the UK government hosted clean energy summit, that is about to change. We are really interested in knowing what conditions are like for you out there. So please take a minute to answer 11 quick questions on where your business is at, and the state of the market. You can access it here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/K8GRSKN Please try and complete this asap and no later than 9am on Monday the 23rd of April.
We are also asking you to indicate whether you are willing to support the public campaigining of the "cut don't kill" campaign and if yes, whether you can help to part-fund our ongoing media and lobbying work.
It is a crucial moment right now as our fate is being decided at this moment, and we are faced with two further cuts later this year – your information will help us to show what is really happening out there for companies in the sector and on the eve of the Clean energy summit, give us the ammunition to make the case against further deep cuts to the feed-in tariff.