Leading figures from the UK solar industry have rounded on George Osborne and claimed he is responsible for the “incredible destruction” being experienced throughout the renewables sector.

Several delegates who attended the Solar Trade Association's (STA) 'What is the impact of solar and wind on electricity prices?' event yesterday openly attacked the chancellor and his department’s influence over energy policy. Almost all of the event’s speakers bypassed the Department of Energy and Climate Change entirely when discussing the policy announcements since May, laying the blame for subsidy cuts and the removal of carbon reduction policy squarely on No. 11’s doorstep.

Walt Patterson, a widely published writer and campaigner on energy, said: “The Treasury is clearly the power behind the throne here and unfortunately the power they are exerting is entirely pernicious.”

Mark Meryrick, trading and origination director for Good Energy, agreed with this point, claiming that the changes to UK energy policy since the general election had “nothing to do with energy or the environment.”

He added: “I would like to think that there will be some force brought to bear on the Treasury as a consequence. I am an optimist though.”

In a particularly heated session towards the end of the event, one attendee said: “I think a clear theme has come out through many of the presentations and it’s something I think we all feel we know is inherently true anyway. All this incredible destruction in our industry but also in the wider renewables sector – energy efficiency, zero carbon transport, low carbon everything really – seems to all point towards one man: Mr. Osborne.”

In light of the agreements coming out of COP 21, warnings also emerged that the chancellor will have to address the UK’s ‘dash for gas’ plan. Joan MacNaughton, executive chair of the World Energy Trilemma for the World Energy Council but speaking independently at the STA event, said: “While the UK could still meet its renewables target and its emissions reduction target for 2020 – relying quite a lot from the heat and transport sectors as well as power generation – it won’t be able to meet the obligations in the INDC [Intended Nationally Determined Contributions agreed in Paris] post 2030 with a strategy that focuses on gas.

“If I was seeing the chancellor I’d tell him that because he may not think that he’s going to be around then but he may still hope that his party has another go about being in power at that time.”

She added: “It’s rather sad actually that even though we’ve had changes, we are still regarded in Paris as somewhat of a leader.”

Following calls on the day to try and influence Osborne directly via appeals to either him or his advisors, MacNaughton advised the renewables sector that this approach would be ‘just be met by a blank wall’.

She continued: “I think you have to be cleverer than that, you need to get to influential Tory MPs, some key peers in the House of Commons and you need to get public opinion starting to damage the perception of him. He’s been trying to position himself as a ‘one nation’ Tory, his reputation clearly matters enormously to him so that’s where the point of entry is. I really do think if you are going to succeed in getting change here, you have to change what’s in George Osborne’s interest to do and that’s the way to go about it.”

She added that working through business leaders and MPs of constituencies where energy policy changes are likely to have a real impact on jobs could also be ‘incredibly powerful’.

“There are lots of things you can do that aren’t behind the scenes not breaking the surface on this issue but across a whole range of areas, which isn’t necessarily about direct meetings with the man at the top.”

DECC has shied away from commenting on the influence of the Treasury on the department’s policy decisions. Answering questions from the Energy and Climate Change select committee this morning, energy secretary Amber Rudd refuted suggestions that HM Treasury is running energy policy despit claims from committee members such as Matthew Pennycook, who said that there was a “sense that the Treasury drives energy policy”.

Labour’s Rushanara Ali added added that decisions passed down from HMT threatened to “undermine” Rudd and DECC’s achievements and “made life difficult” for her and her department.

Criticism of the chancellor’s activities has been raised several times in recent weeks. Speaking last month at the Heating & Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) conference, the chief executive of National Energy Action criticised the Treasury for its “domination over all departments”.

Jenny Saunders said: “We have a chancellor who is really controlling absolutely [everything], right down to micromanagement in some cases.”