British Solar Industry In Total Free Fall After Subsidy Cuts

  • Date: 28/06/16
  • Andrew Follett, The Daily Caller

Solar power in the U.K. is collapsing after the government cut its subsidies, according to industry reports published Sunday.

The British solar industry estimates that it lost 18,000 jobs since the subsidy cuts. The U.K. subsidy cutbacks are part of the collapse of Europe’s green energy industry. The amount of money flowing into European green energy from governments collapsed from $132 billion in 2011 to $58 billion last year.

“All industries have their ups and downs, but the solar industry’s ups and downs are entirely dependent on the level of handouts from government,” Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the free market Competitive Enterprise Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The British government has realized that even in sunny Britain subsidizing solar panels is a waste of taxpayer money.”

British subsidies and tax incentives intended to support the solar industry were enormously costly. Brits paid a whopping 54 percent more for electricity than Americans in 2014 while energy taxes cost residents roughly $6.6 billion every year. Green energy subsidies in the U.K regularly exceed spending caps and account for roughly 7 percent of British energy bills, according to a government study released last July.

Subsidies had driven the energy prices so high that 38 percent of British households have cut back essential purchases, like food, to pay their energy bills and another 59 percent of homes were worried about how they are going to pay energy bills.

“Our priority is to keep energy bills as low as possible for families and businesses whilst supporting low-carbon technologies that represent value for money,” a spokesperson for the U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change told CleanTechnica Sunday.

The U.K.’s Department of Energy and Climate Change estimates that ending solar subsidies would save between $57 million and $142 million by 2021.

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