Clydebank-based solar installers, Campbell & Kennedy remain positive about solar’s prospects despite the government’s plans to cut its support under the feed-in tariff by almost 90%.
While the company has reiterated that it is “wholly against the proposals”, it has been left concerned that the industry is “disappearing under a cloud of doom and gloom” which could give “the false impression that solar is no longer economically viable”.
Tom Kennedy, director of operations at Campbell & Kennedy explained why the company is cautiously optimistic: “Although we are still assessing the impacts of the announcement, we believe that the model for commercial units has the potential to remain quite positive. We have already had positive discussions with one of our existing public sector clients and will be engaging with more over the coming days.”
The installation company has recently been appointed to a number of public sector frameworks, with the majority focusing on social housing. DECC’s announcements have put this model under extreme pressure if it does enact its proposed changes. Gerry Kennedy, managing director at Campbell & Kennedy, explained: “We are extremely disappointed that these schemes have not been awarded specific recognition relevant to the excellent work being carried out to reduce the impact of fuel poverty. We hope that as part of this review, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will consider providing an exemption to social housing schemes to provide time to complete the good work already started. This exemption could take the form of a more appropriate FiT rate or alternatively an option for pre-accreditation at current rates.”
Jason Lowey, head of energy at Campbell & Kennedy noted that the company was working quickly to ensure that the social housing model remains viable. He said: “Only 24 hours after the proposal, we were liaising with industry bodies and investigating options to achieve a successful fuel poverty model. However we are concerned that this will be extremely difficult and will be discussing this with clients in the near future.”
The company claims that it has a portfolio of past and current orders over 14MW from public sector clients alone.
Campbell & Kennedy is also readying itself to ramp up in the short term to meet the spike in demand as consumers rush to install before the cuts to the FiT are enacted. Gerry Kennedy concluded: “We would urge the DECC to rethink the severity of the cuts, given the huge investments companies up and down the country have made in the sector.”