Research carried out for The Independent has suggested that the renewable energy industry in the UK is on a trajectory to plummet 'off a cliff', just at the point where it was making exciting gains. The disappointing news comes as green energy operators celebrated new achievements in 2015, with record levels of investment being directed to wind and solar energy.
However, experts have flagged up that the good progress is about to cease as the government makes a U-turn on its green energy commitments by diverting funding to nuclear power and fracking.
Figures produced by Bloomberg showed that, in the next five years, Britain will lose over 1 GW of renewable power production, sufficient to meet the power needs of over 660,000 homes. After 2020, the situation will become even more challenging, as the removal of government support will see new green energy infrastructure rapidly dwindle.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance said that unless the government took a new direction with its policy support, renewables investment look set to plummet after 2019.
Figures showed how the renewable energy industry is already being affected by changes to government funding. Last year, investment for onshore wind grew by over 100pc to a record level of £2.6 billion. This meant that total wind-power investment at a government level hit a new high of £11 billion.
Meanwhile, solar energy investment dropped to just £3.5 billion in 2016, from £5 billion in 2014. This is an energy source which is already cheaper than wind power. It is expected to plummet further this year, after subsidies for domestic solar PV panels were slashed by 65pc.
Some energy firms, such as npower and EDF, have said they will cancel their plans for proposed onshore wind developments following subsidy changes.