UK Solar Generation was Russell Lyne’s dream, after hearing of the introduction of the feed-in tariff scheme, the entrepreneurial electrician was able to secure a bank loan and invested his life-savings to secure the £25,000 needed to set up his own solar PV installation company.

Initially the outlook for the fledgling solar company looked incredibly bright, as increasing demand saw him hire two full-time staff to keep up with a surge of enquiries.

However, the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s fast-track review threw the start-up into chaos. Lyne said: “Demand went through the roof in December, before the cuts came in, but after that work has been really scarce.”

Since the swingeing December 12 cuts took hold, Lyne has seen demand throttled to such an extent that he could no longer afford to keep hold of his two employees. Lyne said: “It was heartbreaking letting the lads go, but I had no choice. All the projected returns for the company were shot to pieces and I am struggling to pay back the bank loan.”

The High Court ruled that DECC’s December cuts, that threw UK Solar Generation and every other solar company operating in the UK into turmoil, were “legally flawed”. However, DECC has since contested the decision, lodging an appeal with the Supreme Court. The result of which could remain unknown for a matter of months or even years.

“There is now this ridiculous uncertainty as no one knows what tariff they get until the hearing – whenever that is. Solar is still a good investment but people aren’t sure what deal they’re getting and nobody wants that,” Lyne added.

Moving forward the solar industry has some stability after DECC’s new proposals for the solar PV FiT system were unveiled in February. However, for some solar installers the damage has already been done. Lyne summed up the sentiment of many solar installers at the moment, stating: “What should be a successful company is only breaking even.”