Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Clean Power

UK Solar Energy Industry Loses More Than ½ Of Jobs Following Subsidy Cuts

Following recent changes to the UK government’s energy policies, the local solar energy industry has been forced to slash more than half of its workforce — a loss of over half of the total workforce of 35,000 — according to recent reports.

While some cuts were likely on the cards no matter what, some analysts have come out in recent days to note that the ones that were implemented were likely excessive, and also put into action too rapidly.

Imprimir

A number of firms have since collapsed, owing to the rapid nature of the cuts — which didn’t give enough time for adaptation to the changing circumstances. The latest collapse seems to be the Solar Cloth Company, accompanied by the recent collapse of Solarlec a few weeks ago (accompanied by 170 job losses).

In its coverage of the matter, The Guardian noted that the “Solar Trade Association (STA), which represents the industry, said it was collecting exact statistics to be published soon but experts believe up to 18,000 jobs have gone in less than 12 months.”

The chairman of the STA, Jonathan Selwyn, was quoted as saying that the industry was “very hard hit” and that many firms were either changing their business models or heading overseas.

Selwyn noted that “this must be the only industrial sector where the government is congratulating itself for causing thousands of job losses.”

A solid point. Potential job losses are often a major point of focus when considering policy changes, but the situation seems to have been a bit different with regard to the solar industry.

A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change commented when discussing the reason for the cuts that: “Our priority is to keep energy bills as low as possible for families and businesses whilst supporting low-carbon technologies that represent value for money. The cost of solar has steadily declined over the last 10 years and it is right that as this comes down so should the consumer-funded support.”

A professor of international energy and climate change policy at University College London, Michael Grubb, was quoted as saying that it wasn’t clear yet if the UK’s solar sector would settle into a slower growth rate or tank completely.

“Solar has benefited from extraordinarily generous subsidies and no one — including me — expected to see such incredible growth rates. It has been quite seismic for a country that was getting a smidgen of power from renewables only a few years ago. But the cutbacks (in subsidies) have been dramatic and quick.”

It should be remembered that the UK’s energy and climate change secretary, Amber Rudd, has previously revealed the intent to close all of the UK’s coal-fired power plants by 2025. While wind energy projects seem likely to make up for a fair amount of the closed generation capacity, solar energy will likely factor in somewhat as well, especially when considering that the Hinkley Point C nuclear project is still (seemingly) in purgatory.

Image by vectoropenstock.com for CleanTechnica

 
 
 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
 

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Advertisement
 
Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

Comments

You May Also Like

Cars

The ŠKODA ENYAQ has been one of the surprise hits of the current electric vehicle market. It was the 5th best selling plugin vehicle...

Cars

The UK auto market saw plugin electric vehicles take 27.7% share in November, down from 28.1% year on year. Full electric share grew YoY,...

Air Quality

London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will be expanded on 29 August 2023. It will operate London-wide across all London boroughs, up to the...

Clean Transport

There are over 59,000 EV charge point connectors in Britain at the moment, and the Competition and Markets Authority says the nation could need...

Copyright © 2022 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.