The National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (NAPIT) has warned that up to 70% of solar PV companies are under threat from feed-in tariff proposals currently under discussion.
The FiT consultation closed last week and the Department of Energy and Climate Change is now reviewing submitted evidence ahead of a decision expected by early December, however a NAPIT survey of solar installers revealed that 70% of respondents said the measures would affect their financial stability.
Roughly the same percentage of respondents said they were intending to leave the industry altogether, while 80% said they expected the changes to significantly reduce the number of installations they were forecasting.
“The feedback we received suggests the Government could be on the cusp of destroying a huge chunk of the solar PV supply chain, and with it, the livelihoods of thousands of hard working people who not only install but also repair and maintain this valuable source of energy,” Frank Bertie, chairman at NAPIT, said.
“This would also have a negative effect on the confidence on the remainder of the renewables sector due to the lack of government support and would have a destructive consequence on an industry close to self-financing,” he added.
The survey responses come just a week after energy minister Andrea Leadsom gave evidence before an ECC select committee hearing on investor confidence and job losses in which she defended the government’s stance.
Leadsom again said that it was impossible for DECC to quantify job losses the proposals would have due to the fragmented and disparate nature of the solar industry while also claiming that installers based in her constituency had been accepting of the proposals when discussing them with her.
Her comments were picked up by Greenpeace’s Energy Desk, which ran them past installers in South Northamptonshire. Many of those Greenpeace spoke to refuted Leadsom’s claims and accused her of “talking nonsense”.
Solar Power Portal contacted the Department of Energy and Climate Change regarding NAPIT’s survey but had not received a response at the time of publication.