Solar firm goes out of business, blaming Government for cutting subsidies


Another solar company has gone out of business, blaming the Government for "killing off" support for the industry.

Southern Solar, which has offices in areas including London and South Wales, has gone into administration.

Chief executive Howard Johns said: "The demise of Southern Solar is the latest example of human misery generated by the misguided police of the current government.

"This is a direct result of the Government's recent announcements that kill off support for solar energy via the feed-in tariff scheme."

The company is the latest solar firm to go out of business, with warnings that thousands of jobs are now in danger of being axed.

Last week, almost 1,000 jobs were lost when the Leicester-based Mark Group went into liquidation, while Climate Energy also went out of business, putting a further 128 jobs at risk.

A spokesman for the Solar Trade Association (STA) said: "The Government's proposals for solar are so extreme that most solar companies are not able to envisage surviving next year.

"The few that can are looking to exit the UK. The Government must recognise they have made a very serious mistake and act quickly to stabilise the British solar industry."

Southern Solar, launched 13 years ago, used to employ 100 workers but that number has been cut to 22, who will now lose their jobs.

Mr Johns added: "Solar is one of the most exciting new industries in the world so it is madness that the UK Government should sabotage UK jobs and businesses in this growing sector, just as it has started to get going. Worse, when it comes to the energy sector, the party of business seems to want only to support very large energy businesses.

"With less than two months before crucial global climate talks open in Paris the UK Government has unleashed some profoundly shortsighted and damaging policy changes on the UK renewables sector.

"This makes a mockery of any claim the UK might have to be offering global leadership on climate change."

The STA has just sent a "rescue plan" to the Department of Energy and to every MP, calling for urgent action to prevent the industry "unravelling", with the loss of thousands of jobs.

Ministers have announced plans to cut "feed-in tariff" subsidies for small-scale arrays of solar panels on roofs by 87%, a move which it claims is necessary to prevent rising green energy payments hitting consumer bills.

But businesses, campaigners and energy industry experts have lined up to warn the cuts could lead to more than 20,000 job losses and stop people and stall the ''solar revolution'' the Government claims to want.