The UK Government has announced that they will be cutting subsidies for solar electricity panels by 64%. The cut has been reduced from the original plans to cut the subsidies by 87% after they came under a lot of criticism.
The solar sector has spoken out against the cuts, claiming that they are being forced to go out on their own before they are ready. However the Government energy secretary Amber Rudd has said that consumers shouldn’t be paying the same amount towards subsidies when the price of the technology has gone down.
The decision has again been met by a lot a criticism by the Solar Trade Association and environmental group Friends of the Earth, with both groups calling the decision ‘very disappointing’ and ‘a hammer blow’.
The cost of the subsidies was around £7 per annum for each household, and the cuts are said to have already cost the jobs of 6,500 people, leaving many wondering if it was worth cutting the subsidies at the cost of so many jobs. The cuts have also made the UK a lot less attractive to investment in the sector, which may lead to organisations pulling out of planned projects.
With the UK government agreeing to a climate deal in Paris last week, there are fears that a rift could form, with one side supporting cuts to the renewable energy sector and the other side shouting for additional investment.