Fri 11 Mar 2011
Solar photovoltaic (PV) industry leaders and the We Support Solar campaign today warned that up to 30,000 green jobs in the UK’s growing solar sector were under threat from Government feed-in tariff cuts. The industry has witnessed significant growth since the introduction of the Feed-in tariffs, now under review.
Their warning came the day after Energy Minister Greg Barker MP confirmed in the House of Commons that employment in UK solar PV companies had already grown by more than 10,000 staff in the year since the launch of the feed-in tariffs in April 2010. Endorsing employment numbers collated by the Renewable Energy Association, Barker confirmed that 17,000 staff were expected to be employed in the sector by “Spring 2011″ and 30,000 by January 2012, a ten-fold increase on employment levels before the feed-in tariff.
Howard Johns, Chairman of The Solar Trade Association (STA) said; “It is utterly amazing that only 10 months into this hugely popular and successful scheme the Ministers are putting employment in the sector at risk. They seem not to grasp the fact that the two FIT reviews jeopardize these new jobs.”
Jeremy Leggett, Executive Chairman, Solarcentury said: “It truly beggars belief that a Government elected on a promise of being the “greenest ever” should be rushing to cut the solar PV tariff and kill off one of its very few employment success stories. Their Sir Humphreyesque attempts to justify the shock decision of 7th February would be amusing, were the consequences for the sector in terms of jobs and value to the UK economy not so serious.”
Ray Noble, Renewable Energy Association, said: “Solar in the UK - the biggest April Fool’s day joke ever - the FIT started on April 1st, Industry responded, delivered a significant sustainable market with substantial new jobs only for Government to interfere and kill it off.”
Stop this, and sign our letter to Secretary of State Chris Huhne MP.