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Solar Energy Business Reeling Under Subsidy Cuts, Considers Lay-Offs

Following the Government’s decision to cut off the subsidy for one of largest businesses in solar panels, UK, thousands of workers now find themselves on the edge of unemployment.

The Government’s decision to enforce the Feed-in Tariff scheme which effectively cuts the subsidy for Carillion Energy Services, was followed by the company’s announcement that more than 4,500 jobs may be declared redundant.

On the back of the subsidy cuts, an estimated two-thirds of the companies dealing solar panels in UK have been considering the possibility of lay-offs. The subsidy cuts, which were imposed last month, have been nipped by 50 per cent, a very substantial amount.

To give an idea of just how much these companies have lost by the Government’s decision, Carillion Services used to be one of the major players in producing solar panels for housing, apart from controlling HomeSun, UK’s largest rent-a-roof service provider. It consistently enjoyed revenues touching some £800 million.

However, the staggering budget cuts from the Government’s end could very well put a halt to its prosperity, at least temporarily. Carillion’s spokesman earlier confirmed that the company had embarked upon a ninety-day consultation tenure to decide the number of jobs that may be lost.

Not only Carillion, a survey conducted by MEBC found that 66 per cent of solar panel businesses in the UK are expected to reduce their staff numbers, mainly due to subsidy cuts.

The Government’s decision to cut the subsidies has been severely criticised by all the companies, being called as a ‘Draconian approach that will kill off demand’ and a ‘business killer’.

MEBC, which conducted the survey on the effects of subsidy cuts on companies dealing in solar panel, UK, is a regional network that focuses on sustainable development.

David Middleton, MEBC’s head, was quoted as saying: “We have been promoting business opportunity in the renewable sector for years. At a time when we are seeing ways of stimulating investor growth in the green economy, the radical and hurtful nature of this deep and speedy cut is very counter-productive.”

“It seems like a curious way for a Government that says it is the greenest one ever to go about reducing our carbon footprint, enhancing energy efficiency and creating jobs and new businesses to help the economy,” he finished.

Companies such as Carillion Energy Services have been at the forefront of the solar panel scene for years. The exact nature and implications of the subsidy cuts enforced by the Government cannot be ascertained yet. However, whether the change is for better or worse, one thing seems certain: the businesses around the solar energy sector do not appreciate the change.





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