SunEdison adds to government criticism with withering attack on subsidy cuts

Global solar developer SunEdison has added further weight to growing criticism of the government’s clean energy stance, claiming the probable outcome would be “tragic”.

Mark Babcock, vice president of European residential and solar at SunEdison, said that the “abrupt and unanticipated decimation” of the small-scale feed-in tariff – which looks set to be cut by up to 87% – would result in “sector-wide lay-offs” and a “derailing” of the UK solar industry.

“Limiting solar deployment under the feed-in tariff is damaging, but combined with the FiT reduction the outcome could be tragic.

“This is particularly disappointing at a time when UK solar is flourishing, significantly bringing down costs and meaningfully contributing to the UK’s shift to a low carbon economy,” he added.

SunEdison had ramped up its UK-focused activity substantially in the early stages of 2015 on a number of fronts, launching a “zero down” offer for the UK’s rooftop market in March after establishing it’s yieldco TerraForm in the UK market in 2014. The company claims to have invested up to £400 million in the UK market to date.

Criticism of the government’s stance on renewables has continued to grow this week with a number of respected and renowned names throwing their support behind the sector. CBI director-general warned that UK PLC was likely to miss out on hundreds of billions of pounds worth of exports by persevering with the cuts and Al Gore, former US vice president and respected environmentalist, said he was “puzzled” by the government’s round of cuts.