Solar industry dismayed by new subsidies

Wind farm near Sedgefield.

Solar industry dismayed by new subsidies

Energy Secretary Ed Davey

First published in News
Last updated
The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

THE solar power industry accused the Government of undermining the development of renewable technologies, after it emerged they would have access to just £50m of annual funding.

A total of £205m a year will be available to some of the major forms of renewable energy from this autumn, affecting the funding of schemes from wind and solar farms to biomass-burning power plants.

The money will be available under the Government's so-called “contracts for difference”, which subsidise renewable energy companies that offer electricity at a lower rate of carbon emissions than fossil fuel generators, and are paid for by levies on household energy bills.

The auction of contracts-for-difference will take place in October, with deals worth an annual £50m available to established technologies such as solar and onshore wind power, the Department for Energy and Climate Change said.

Another £155m a year will be granted to newer generation forms, such as offshore wind, wave and tidal power.

“These projects will create green jobs and green growth, reduce our reliance on foreign-controlled volatile energy markets and make sure bill payers get the best possible deal,” said Energy Secretary Ed Davey.

“Average annual investment in renewables has doubled since 2010, with a record-breaking £8bn worth in 2013.

“Our plan is powering growth and jobs as we build clean, secure electricity infrastructure for the future. By radically reforming the electricity markets, we’re making sure that decarbonising the power sector will come at the lowest possible cost to consumers,” added Mr Davey, who predicted there would be 250,000 jobs in the UK’s low-carbon energy sector by the end of this decade.

But some renewable companies said the spending represented a large reduction in the support they receive, and could lead to far fewer low-carbon installations being built.

Trade body RenewableUK, said the level of funding was disappointing.

Dr Gordon Edge, its director of policy, said: "Whilst the industry understands the pressures facing government when setting this budget, we are disappointed with the overly cautious approach used.

"Although we appreciate that it’s necessary to hold back budget for future years in order to allow potentially cheaper projects to come forward later, this initial release of the draft budget risks being insufficient to drive industrialisation, competition and cost reduction."

Leonie Green at the Solar Trade Association, said the amounts to be devoted to renewable energy were dwarfed by the £80bn guaranteed to the nuclear industry under a similar contract struck by the government.

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:52am Thu 14 Aug 14

dave3mrr says...

Hardly surprising considering this Government are in hock to the fossil fuel industries.
Hardly surprising considering this Government are in hock to the fossil fuel industries. dave3mrr
  • Score: -1

2:18pm Thu 14 Aug 14

David Lacey says...

Time to bring an end to the ridiculous subsidies given to renewable energy scams like wind and solar PV.
Time to bring an end to the ridiculous subsidies given to renewable energy scams like wind and solar PV. David Lacey
  • Score: 1

2:47pm Thu 14 Aug 14

RealLivin says...

David Lacey wrote:
Time to bring an end to the ridiculous subsidies given to renewable energy scams like wind and solar PV.
which subsidies David? I have solar panels fitted and over 20 years will make a lot more than it cost to install, however I would have preferred a subsidised install as this was expensive, with no FIT. The FIT is paid by power companies, who recoup it by increasing costs, so if no installation subsidies are available only those who can afford to install can reduce their energy bills leaving those who cant with higher bills. Subsidiseing installs to all housing and business is cheaper than building new power stations and removes the high demand for power from he big six. The current system favors the investor seeking a profit not those trying to reduce energy bills and defiantly not the green agenda. Instead of turning perfectly good farm land into solar or wind farms, subsides the installations and get as many out there on houses as possible, stop FIT payments and subsidising the industry, this should reduce bills as these costs will no longer be passed to the consumer. A lot of local homes have solar but are using the "free" installations as they are not bothered about making money only reducing their bills and I think most people are the same, so helping reduce energy bills by susidising installations is good, susidising profit for investors is bad.
[quote][p][bold]David Lacey[/bold] wrote: Time to bring an end to the ridiculous subsidies given to renewable energy scams like wind and solar PV.[/p][/quote]which subsidies David? I have solar panels fitted and over 20 years will make a lot more than it cost to install, however I would have preferred a subsidised install as this was expensive, with no FIT. The FIT is paid by power companies, who recoup it by increasing costs, so if no installation subsidies are available only those who can afford to install can reduce their energy bills leaving those who cant with higher bills. Subsidiseing installs to all housing and business is cheaper than building new power stations and removes the high demand for power from he big six. The current system favors the investor seeking a profit not those trying to reduce energy bills and defiantly not the green agenda. Instead of turning perfectly good farm land into solar or wind farms, subsides the installations and get as many out there on houses as possible, stop FIT payments and subsidising the industry, this should reduce bills as these costs will no longer be passed to the consumer. A lot of local homes have solar but are using the "free" installations as they are not bothered about making money only reducing their bills and I think most people are the same, so helping reduce energy bills by susidising installations is good, susidising profit for investors is bad. RealLivin
  • Score: 8

4:26pm Thu 14 Aug 14

oliviaden6 says...

David Lacey wrote:
Time to bring an end to the ridiculous subsidies given to renewable energy scams like wind and solar PV.
Can only agree the public are being held to ransom by these companies for a product that has been proven to not a effective as nwe are being led to believe, build proper power stations and stop blighting the country side.
[quote][p][bold]David Lacey[/bold] wrote: Time to bring an end to the ridiculous subsidies given to renewable energy scams like wind and solar PV.[/p][/quote]Can only agree the public are being held to ransom by these companies for a product that has been proven to not a effective as nwe are being led to believe, build proper power stations and stop blighting the country side. oliviaden6
  • Score: 3

5:27pm Thu 14 Aug 14

alancycle says...

None needed, solar now costs 33 cent per Watt making a 4KW installation costing less than £1000 for the base cells.

So aim to pay £4000 or less for a full 4KW install and they can easily pay their way in any home!
None needed, solar now costs 33 cent per Watt making a 4KW installation costing less than £1000 for the base cells. So aim to pay £4000 or less for a full 4KW install and they can easily pay their way in any home! alancycle
  • Score: 1

5:29pm Thu 14 Aug 14

David Lacey says...

RealLivin - that is a load of rot. We are paying for your useless PV panels through our bills.
RealLivin - that is a load of rot. We are paying for your useless PV panels through our bills. David Lacey
  • Score: 0

11:47pm Thu 14 Aug 14

nigel d says...

RealLivin wrote:
David Lacey wrote:
Time to bring an end to the ridiculous subsidies given to renewable energy scams like wind and solar PV.
which subsidies David? I have solar panels fitted and over 20 years will make a lot more than it cost to install, however I would have preferred a subsidised install as this was expensive, with no FIT. The FIT is paid by power companies, who recoup it by increasing costs, so if no installation subsidies are available only those who can afford to install can reduce their energy bills leaving those who cant with higher bills. Subsidiseing installs to all housing and business is cheaper than building new power stations and removes the high demand for power from he big six. The current system favors the investor seeking a profit not those trying to reduce energy bills and defiantly not the green agenda. Instead of turning perfectly good farm land into solar or wind farms, subsides the installations and get as many out there on houses as possible, stop FIT payments and subsidising the industry, this should reduce bills as these costs will no longer be passed to the consumer. A lot of local homes have solar but are using the "free" installations as they are not bothered about making money only reducing their bills and I think most people are the same, so helping reduce energy bills by susidising installations is good, susidising profit for investors is bad.
You say that they will make you money over twenty years , have you got a guarantee that thay will last more than ten years never mind twenty years.
today nothing is made to last, so dont bank on having a maintenance free lifespan on the equipment.
[quote][p][bold]RealLivin[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]David Lacey[/bold] wrote: Time to bring an end to the ridiculous subsidies given to renewable energy scams like wind and solar PV.[/p][/quote]which subsidies David? I have solar panels fitted and over 20 years will make a lot more than it cost to install, however I would have preferred a subsidised install as this was expensive, with no FIT. The FIT is paid by power companies, who recoup it by increasing costs, so if no installation subsidies are available only those who can afford to install can reduce their energy bills leaving those who cant with higher bills. Subsidiseing installs to all housing and business is cheaper than building new power stations and removes the high demand for power from he big six. The current system favors the investor seeking a profit not those trying to reduce energy bills and defiantly not the green agenda. Instead of turning perfectly good farm land into solar or wind farms, subsides the installations and get as many out there on houses as possible, stop FIT payments and subsidising the industry, this should reduce bills as these costs will no longer be passed to the consumer. A lot of local homes have solar but are using the "free" installations as they are not bothered about making money only reducing their bills and I think most people are the same, so helping reduce energy bills by susidising installations is good, susidising profit for investors is bad.[/p][/quote]You say that they will make you money over twenty years , have you got a guarantee that thay will last more than ten years never mind twenty years. today nothing is made to last, so dont bank on having a maintenance free lifespan on the equipment. nigel d
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree