The Mayor of London has joined the raging debate currently surrounding the planned cuts to the solar industry, which have been put forward by the conservative energy minister.
The proposed cuts to subsidies for solar energy have been put forward by the energy minister, Andrea Leadsom. The cuts have sparked widespread concern from all sides of the political spectrum, as well as from those within the solar industry itself. If the plan goes ahead it will result in solar subsidies being cut by 87% from January onwards.
Mr Johnson has written a letter to Leadsom regarding these cuts. In the letter he charges the government of providing “little or no prior notice”, which has resulted in the endangering of thousands of jobs in the industry up and down the country.
Lack of Certainty in Solar Industry
The deputy mayor for the environment and energy, Matthew Pencharz, said:
“The Mayor believes that the solar PV industry needs some certainty over the next few years as it transitions to a subsidy-free and long-term sustainable future,”
“The current proposals, which have been consulted on, with little or no prior warning, to come into force in the New Year have created great uncertainty in the solar PV industry, potentially putting at threat thousands of jobs across the UK.”
Tate Modern Solar Project “Last of its Kind”
The chief executive of Solarcentury, Frans van den Heuvel, has overseen his firm’s involvement with a solar project that will see energy producing panels placed onto the top of the Tate Modern. However, he now sees this as potential the last project of his time.
“In housing programmes alone, we’ve [Solarcentury] already had £16m of confirmed business cancelled, which equates to approximately 6,500 homes that won’t benefit from solar panels,”
“And this is just a small part of a much larger pipeline of business that won’t happen if the [subsidy] cuts go ahead as planned.”
Ben Warren, from the major business services firm, EY, has expressed his surprise at the government’s willingness to grant costly subsidies to nuclear projects, such as the recently agreed upon Hinkley Point C, when contrasted with their decision to go “cold turkey” on solar power.