Renewable sector facing bleak future

30th April 2016 | Commercial Energy

Over the last decade, thousands of businesses were set up to sell, install and manage green energy initiatives. These could be as simple as loft insulation, or more complex, such as solar panels. At the larger end, these would include large civil engineering installations, such as wind farms and tidal energy initiatives.

They saw a gap in the market and there was a general acceptance that reduced reliance on fossil fuel (oil, gas, coal) would be a good thing for the future well-being of the country, and better for global warming and the ozone layer. Added to that, the Government created incentives for both suppliers and customers making installations more attractive all round.

However, Chancellor, George Osborne, removed these subsidies in his 2015 Summer Budget: Climate Change Levy exemption was removed from electricity from renewable sources (“green electricity”), instantly making it more expensive than “brown electricity”. In December 2015 a 65% cut in subsidies for solar support and VAT increases on solar installation increases put the brakes on a growing and prosperous sector.

Many businesses depended on subsidies, grants and reduced levies to make their offerings feasible to customers – but without them, they are too expensive and many suppliers have become insolvent and had to close down.

The Conservative Government talks about austerity measures to get the economy onto a more solid footing, but it feels that an industry which is all about future-proofing the energy supply for this country has had its legs taken away.

More information is available at