The results of the STA survey were reported by the BBC this weekend and covers nearly 10 percent of the primary solar sector in the UK. The redundancy figures are in addition to 1,200 solar job losses over the last few months from three companies that have already gone bankrupt, bringing the total figure to almost 1,800 with a further 18,500 people on notice. This is uncomfortably close to the 27,000 job losses predicted by STA previously. The UK solar supply chain could also be at risk.
“Those 1,800 jobs that we know have already gone represent technical skills and experience that has been built up in the solar industry over the last five years” said Paul Barwell, CEO of the STA. “It is this very supply chain and know-how that is essential to delivering low-cost solar. And yet the Government is at risk of throwing many more of these jobs away.”
These redundancies have been made even before the government has made a final decision on cuts to the Feed-in Tariff. Some of them were made before the public consultation closed in late October. The STA and a number of MPs from all political parties, including the Conservatives, are urging the government to adopt the STA’s ‘£1 emergency solar rescue plan’. This would safeguard many of the jobs at risk and only add an extra £1 per year on average household energy bills from 2019 for new solar deployed over the next three years. It would allow solar to continue in the UK while giving the government the cost control guarantees it needs.
For additional information:
Solar Trade Association (STA) Briefing Report
STA £1 solar rescue plan