Criticism on the Government’s Approach to Solar Industry


Most recently, it has been highlighted that a number of very influential solar industry executives have pointed the figure at the government for the development of an “ideologically driven campaign” against their specific industry, citing this campaign to have played a pivotal role in its current state of crisis.

The comments, quick to follow the withdrawal of a solar power company with Elon Musk, the billionaire inventor’s backing, from the UK – this being the fourth of such organisations to shut up shop over the past few weeks. As a result, the voices of executives representing solar power companies have become increasingly critical of the government’s role ahead of the planned consultation for a 87% cut to small-scale solar subsidy levels; a move which has not been received all too well as jobs have been cut industry-wide already.

As such, the Solar Trade Association has made clear its warning that the new plans could actually lead to the loss of some 27,000 jobs, as well as actually increasing the average customer’s bills by £1 by 2019 – a figure which actually sits on top of the £9 cited to be added to customer energy bills by the solar industry. And of course, with nations such as Germany having been heralded as pioneering a clear way forward for the development of renewables and solar energy projects, it really is of no surprise that businesses have taken the recent news items so harshly.

Some of those keen to present their thoughts on this key industry topic include professionals at Trina, the world’s most prominent manufacturer of solar panels, Lark Energy, and Howard Johns, the Solar Trade Association’s previous chairman, and also the founder of Southern Solar. One of the key areas focused upon includes the very way in which solar industries are referred to by the government, which some individuals feel may be taking people away from the benefits that can be seen in the industry.

As such, Lark Energy’s Managing Director, Jonathan Selwyn commented: “When the government talks about nuclear and fracking [shale gas] it’s all about investment in energy security and jobs. When it takes about renewables – not just solar – it talks about the costs to hardworking British families.”


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BDC 303 Apr 2023