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New Solar Installations Plummet by 80pc - Tory Government Policy Blamed

17 Apr 11:00 by Steve Walia

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The Conservatives have been blamed for an 80pc drop in new solar installations as the solar industry faces a crisis. The latest figures suggest that the solar industry is being decimated by government policy changes, even though the technology is able to produce one of the least expensive sources of electricity.

The Solar Trade Association generated the analysis on the back of new government statistics and found that an 80pc drop in new installations was due to a near total removal of subsidies, heavy red tape and a business rate increase of nearly 800pc.

The subsidy removal was of particular concern. No current form of energy production, including fossil fuels, can currently be produced without some element of government subsidy, and the STA has stressed that it simply seeks a level playing field for solar technologies to compete in the market.

The trade body said that it was particularly concerned by a 65p drop in large-scale installations on buildings such as schools, factories and hospitals, which may have been directly caused by the increase in business rates.

Employment has also been hit, with a 75pc drop in rooftop deployments to just 650 across the UK in a week, compared to 2,700 in 2010.

Under government regulations, the solar industry has also been prevented from bidding against other types of power generator for electricity supply contracts at guaranteed prices, even though it could potentially cut bills for consumers by doing so.

The STA is calling on the government to act now and put in place measures that allow the solar industry to compete again within the energy market and to stabilise the industry at a time when the technology is placed to revolutionise the clean energy market.