The Solar Trade Association has claimed that as many as 27,000 jobs could be lost if the government presses ahead with plans to cut the feed-in tariff by 87% after commissioning analysis by TBR Economic Research.
The research firm – the government’s own partner on low-carbon jobs data – revealed that the solar industry and its supply chain currently employ around 35,000 jobs across the UK.
But the STA has estimated that the vast majority of these – 27,000, or 77% – could be lost as a result of the proposed cuts, with the south east of the country worst hit.
Of the 5,310 solar jobs in the south east of England the STA warns that as many as 4,248 could be lost, a striking 80% of those currently in employment. The north west of the country will also be severely impacted with 3,500 of its 4,300 jobs placed at risk.
The STA claimed its analysis revealed that the proposals favour solar in the south west and south coast of England and discriminated against much of the rest of the UK. “Within this new set of proposals, the government has used sunlight levels you might find in Devon, rather than those found in Yorkshire as they have done in the past. Here at the Solar Trade Association however we believe more than just one corner of the country should be able to get the benefits of going solar,” said Paul Barwell, chief executive at the STA.
Just yesterday the STA revealed that additional analysis of the proposals found them to be representative of a 98% reduction to financial support for solar, with budget commitments set to fall from £70 million a year to just £7 million over three due to the implication of deployment caps.