Cuts to the feed-in tariff have threatened Haringey Council’s solar scheme which was set to double London’s installed solar capacity. The scheme would have seen all suitable council-owned properties receive a solar installation in an effort to cut the council’s carbon emissions.
Councillor Joe Goldberg, Cabinet Member for Finance and Carbon Reduction, said: “I’m devastated that at such short notice the rug has been pulled out from under this groundbreaking project.
“The government has axed all the financial incentives for businesses and residents to invest in solar panels and one of London’s fastest growing sectors of the economy will now likely be brought to its knees.”
Haringey Council is the latest in a string of councils – including Leeds, Reading, Waltham Forest, Torbay, Ashford and Westminster – to halt or cancel their solar schemes in light of the proposed fifty percent cut to the solar subsidy.
Other councils, such as Wrexham, have decided to push to get as many installs as possible completed before the FiT rate changes.
The decision to shelve Haringey Council’s solar scheme will mean that many libraries, social housing projects and schools that had been expecting solar installations across the council will now be disappointed.
Quentin Given, co-ordinator of the Tottenham and Wood Green Friends of the Earth, said: “In a recession, in a place like Haringey, we desperately need this kind of investment. It’s fair enough to reduce the tariff, as the price of solar panels falls, but we need to get the scheme on a sustainable long-term footing.”