The UK Government has announced plans to halve the subsidy for solar power from 12 December this year, in a move that the industry warns will put thousands of jobs at risk. It also means that consumers who register for the scheme after that date and have already paid a deposit will still see their return cut in half.

The reduced tariff kills the solar industry in the UK. But more than that, the approach taken by The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has the potential to fire a hurtful blow to the renewables industry in general by undermining investor confidence. How certain can developers of other technologies be that they will be treated any differently if there is a perception at some point in the future that they too are receiving too much by way of subsidy? It may well be the case that the tariff was set too high, but it needs to be dealt with in a way which does not prejudice funds already committed. DECC has given developers and investors 6 weeks to attain accreditation but many projects are operating within delivery timetables (for panels) of 8 weeks, thereby removing the ability entirely for them to protect sums already invested. Not one of DECC's best moves.

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